When testing a software, it is important to consider what inputs will be used and how they will affect the outcome and usefulness of the test. There are several design techniques for determining input variables for test cases, but the two I will focus on in this post are boundary value and equivalence class.
Boundary value testing is designed to, as the name suggests, test the boundary values of a given variable. Specifically, this test design technique is intended to test the extreme minimum, center, and extreme maximum values of a variable, and it assumes that a single variable is faulty. In normal boundary value testing, the following values are selected for a given variable: the minimum possible value, the minimum possible value plus one, the median value, the maximum possible value minus one, and the maximum possible value. Normal testing only tests valid inputs. Robust boundary value testing, in addition to testing the values of normal testing, tests invalid values. This includes the minimum value minus one and the maximum value plus one.
Equivalence class testing divides the possible values of a variable into equivalence classes dependent on the output that value represents. Equivalence class testing can also be divided into robust and normal where robust testing includes invalid values and normal does not. In addition, equivalence class testing can also be weak or strong. Weak testing only tests one value from each partition and assumes that a single variable is at fault. Strong testing tests all possible combinations of equivalence classes and assumes that multiple variables are at fault.