For example: The application show a list of results.

Now we have a new feature: The list can be filtered.

The user can use a search input field and a date range to filter the results.

To cover all possible combinations with test cases, I create a matrix. For this simple example, they look like this:


I feel confident that this type of matrix has a specific name.

How is the name? Test Case Combination Matrix?

After getting the keywords, I found a nice and large article by Michael Bolton about Pairwise Testing.


  • 2
    As an aside, when you try to cover every possible combination of values, that's called combinatorial testing.
    – user246
    Jul 23, 2014 at 11:54

4 Answers 4


I think it is called a "Combinatorial test matrix" .

With more combinations the matrix could become infinitely large, have a look at Pairwise Testing to simplify this, but still have a high coverage with combinations.

Pairwise (a.k.a. all-pairs) testing is an effective test case generation technique that is based on the observation that most faults are caused by interactions of at most two factors. Pairwise-generated test suites cover all combinations of two therefore are much smaller than exhaustive ones yet still very effective in finding defects.

Also there is a list of software tools to assist you with generating the pairwise matrix.

Currently we are playing with the free version of CTE-XL , which looks pretty good.

I am interested in experience with other Pairwise testing tools.

  • I am using PICT by Microsoft (#20 in the list of software tools). The idea of able to add conditions to change the pairwise output helps to reduce the unnecessary/useless combinations.
    – chuan
    Jul 23, 2014 at 14:16

It could be called anything as long as the stakeholders of the project understand what it is and how to use it. You can call it combinatorial input matrix, all pairs matrix, exhaustive input matrix and so on!


It's just a representation of test cases.

When I use it I call it Test cases, Test case matrix, Test Matrix or just tests.

Anyway, it is a great way to present data and test inputs.

  • 1
    I'm with Rsf - simple test cases. We do a lot of this in relation to database search combinations. But I think one needs to be sure that you are not testing things that are never used. For example with dbs you can end up with an index strategy which itself has a performance hit, that favours the rare cases and not the common ones. Jul 23, 2014 at 15:48
  • @NigelHoath Yes, sure. Creating test cases for combinations that will never happen is useless. But my opinion is, it is veriy helpful for the beginning to have a overview of all combinations. After that you can decide for what combination you create an test case.
    – Twaldigas
    Jul 24, 2014 at 7:28

When you produce a matrix of all combinations, that is called the “cartesian product.” See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartesian_product.

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