Operational profiles

Approach Coverage based  - appearance
Test Variety
  • Performance
  • Continuity
  • Connectivity
  • Effectivity
Test basis

Description of realistic user profiles


An operational profile describes in quantitative terms how the system is used by a particular type of user.

This concept was introduced by John Musa; you are referred to his work [Musa, 1998] for a more comprehensive discussion of operational profiles. Below is a brief explanation.
An operational profile describes the realistic usage by answering the question: “When the system is in this condition, how great is the chance that this action will be carried out by the user?” In the literature, instead of condition and action, reference is usually made to history class and event.

An operational profile provides a statistical average of how ‘the user’ handles the system. If various types of users are distinguishable who display significantly varied static average behaviour, it is advisable to create a separate operational profile per user type.
Operational profiles are often applied in combination with coverage type Load profiles.