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Testing can detect only the presence of errors, not their absence because the main goal of the testing is to observe the behavior of the particular software and to check whether it meet its requirement expectation or not.

Testing is a part of broader process of software verification and validation. It consists of a set of activities, where the testers try to make the software behave anomalous in order to detect or anomaly to be later fix. Testing cannot demonstrate the faults other than specified in every circumstance. It is always possible that an overlooked test case could conceal further problem with the system.

Assume that exhaustive testing of a program, where every possible valid input is checked, is impossible (true for all but trivial programs). Test cases either do not reveal a fault in the program or reveal a program fault. If they reveal a program fault then they demonstrate the presence of an error. If they do not reveal a fault, however, this simply means that they have executed a code sequence that – for the inputs chosen – is not faulty. The next test of the same code sequence – with different inputs – could reveal a fault.

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