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6.2 Basics of Data Flow Testing

6.2.1 Meaning of Data Flow

Data flow is an abstract representation of the sequence and possible changes of state of data objects, where the state of an object is any of creation (created); used: used or modified; destruction (killed). Data flow structure follows the trail of a data item as it is accessed and modified by the code. Using Data flow, one can understand how the data acts as they are transformed by the program and also, defects like referencing a variable with an undefined value and variables that are never used can be identified.

6.2.2 Data Flow Testing

Data flow testing strategies are family of test strategies to track program’s control flow in order to explore sequences of events related to status of data objects caused by creation, usage, modification or destruction with the intention of identifying any data anomalies.

6.2.3 The Bug Assumptions

In data flow testing, we assume that control flow is correct and there can issues like non-availability of data, wrong initialization, variables are not defined etc that can be detected by data flow analysis.
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Arunkumar Khannur, Software Testing - Techniques and Applications, Published by Pearson Publications, 2011 (ISBN:978-81-317-5836-6; Pages:341 + xxii)
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