Failure-Directed Testing

What Does Failure-Directed Testing Mean?

Failure-directed testing, also sometimes called heuristics testing, is a type of software testing that focuses on the most likely errors for a piece of software or a program. This type of testing tries to work more intelligently than blanket or standard testing in order to seek out bugs or glitches and fix them.


Techopedia Explains Failure-Directed Testing

Some types of failure-directed testing consist of black box testing, where instead of looking at the source code of a program, programmers run the program and see what happens. This is in contrast to white box testing, where testers look at the actual source code of a program to look for possible errors. However, certain types of black-box testing can focus test activities on the areas of a program where certain types of failure are more likely to happen. For example, if testers know that a particular piece of source data is complex or nebulous, they may focus failure-directed testing in that area in run-time tests. That means that there can also be an element of white-box testing in failure-directed testing. The basic idea of failure-directed testing is that developers should put special focus on areas of the code base where more can go wrong.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.