The Classification Tree Method

Picture of the Classification Tree Editor CTE output with combination table below

The Classification Tree Method is a systematic approach to test planning. This method transforms a problem specification into a set of error-sensitive, low-redundancy test cases.

The test cases use a mixture of boundary values for parameters as well values that lie within an equivalent partition. The partitions of a parameter are derived using a technique known as the Classification Tree Method.

If you are new to the Classification Tree Method then there is a 15 minute video clip presentation, which explains the basic concepts available to view here.

Classification Tree Editor

The Classification Tree Editor (CTE) is a tool, from Razorcat, to support the Classification Tree Method (CTM) as a way of deriving your test cases. This systematic approach to deriving test cases yields a more effective set of test cases that removes unnecessary test cases and hence provides a smaller number of tests to run.

The Classification Tree is used along with a Combination Table to build a set of test cases. The picture above shows a classification tree along with a combination table.

The CTE tool can be purchased separately and can be used for many applications, not just embedded firmware. As the CTM approach is a technique for testing it can be applied to many different aspects of a project. The CTE tool provides a visual way of describing test cases that make reading a test report much easier, than the classical spreadsheet of values.

The CTE tool is also available free of charge when purchased with Tessy, the Unit Testing tool also from Razorcat. The CTE editor when used with Tessy will allow for the testing of embedded software with test cases derived from the Classification Tree Method. A video clip of how to build a classification tree and to test embedded software using Tessy can be found on this link here.

The Classification Tree Method by its nature, addresses questions likeHow many tests should be run?

  • What test data should be used?
  • How can redundant tests be removed?
  • Have any test cases been overlooked?
  • When is it safe to stop testing?

The objective of the Classification Tree Method is to determine a sufficient but minimum number of test case specifications for a given scenario.

The Classification Tree Editor is produced by Razorcat in Berlin and originates from the former software technology laboratory of Daimler-Benz in Berlin, Germany.