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Equivalence partitioning (EP) is a method for testing software programs. In this technique, the data fed into the software to be tested is divided into partitions of equal sizes. From each partition of data, one test case is needed. The different test cases must test the classes of the software continuously. This helps in the discovery of errors and bugs which may plague the software. Each test case is defined specifically to check a specific type of error. This speeds up the error hunting process as fewer test cases are required.
Equivalence partitioning is also known as equivalence class partitioning (ECP).
Equivalence partitioning is a testing technique based on specifications known as test cases. It is extremely efficient, fast and easy to use, and also does not require much input data. Its flexibility makes it suitable for testing in any stage of development of the application.
In this technique, the data or test cases are partitioned or divided first to form data sets called equivalence classes or partitions. These sets are considered as equal by the software, hence the term "equivalence partitioning." Because all the equivalence classes of a group are to be considered as equal by the software, only one test case is required from each group in order to test that specific condition for the group that it is representing. If it works properly, then it can be concluded that others in the group would also work properly with the software. However, if it does not work, then the whole group can be ignored, as it can be concluded that other cases would not work as well.