Test vector

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In computer science and engineering, a test vector is a set of inputs provided to a system in order to test that system. In software development, test vectors are a methodology of software testing and software verification and validation.


In computer science and engineering, a system acts as a computable function. An example of a specific function could be where is the output of the system and is the input; however, most systems' inputs are not one-dimensional. When the inputs are multi-dimensional, we could say that the system takes the form  ; however, we can generalize this equation to a general form where is the result of the system's execution, belongs to the set of computable functions, and is an input vector. While testing the system, various test vectors must be used to examine the system's behavior with differing inputs.


For example, consider a login page with two input fields: a username field and a password field. In that case, the login system can be described as:

with and , with designating login successful, and designating login failure, respectively.

Making things more generic, we can suggest that the function takes input as a 2-dimensional vector and outputs a one-dimensional vector (scalar). This can be written in the following way:-


In this case, is called the input vector, and is called the output vector.

In order to test the login page, it is necessary to pass some sample input vectors . In this context is called a test vector.

See also[edit]


  • Test Vector Guidelines. [1]
  • Test Vector Considered Harmful. [2]