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Types of Code Coverage for MATLAB Source Code

When you run tests, you can collect and access code coverage information for your MATLAB® source code by adding an instance of the CodeCoveragePlugin class to the test runner. As the tests run, the plugin collects information that shows the parts of the source code that were executed by the tests. You can access this information either programmatically or as a code coverage report.

If you create a CodeCoveragePlugin instance using a CoverageResult, CoverageReport, or StandaloneReport format object, the plugin supports the following coverage types, which let you perform a detailed analysis of the source code covered by your tests.

Statement Coverage

Statement coverage identifies the source code statements that execute when the tests run. Use this type of coverage to determine whether every statement in your source code is executed at least once.

To report statement coverage, MATLAB divides the source code into statements that are separated by a comma, semicolon, or newline character. For example, this code has three statements.

b = 1, a = 2 * (b + 10);
x = (b ~= 0) && (a/b > 18.5)

MATLAB divides control flow statements into smaller units for code coverage reporting. For example, in the following control flow statement code, MATLAB reports coverage for these five units: if x > 0, elseif x < 0, and three calls to the disp function. To achieve 100% statement coverage, you need tests that execute each of these units.

if x > 0
    disp("x is positive.")
elseif x < 0
    disp("x is negative.")
    disp("x is either zero or NaN.")

A keyword followed by an expression forms a unit for which MATLAB reports statement coverage. Among keywords that do not require an expression, MATLAB reports coverage for break, catch, continue, return, and try. It ignores keywords such as else, end, and otherwise.

In general, MATLAB reports coverage for statements that perform some action on program data or affect the flow of the program. It ignores code that defines functions, classes, or class members, such as function [y1,...,yN] = myfun(x1,...,xM) or classdef MyClass.

Function Coverage

Function coverage identifies the functions defined in the source code that execute when the tests run. Use this type of coverage to determine whether every function in your source code was called at least once.

For example, this code contains three defined functions: f, root, and square. To achieve 100% function coverage, you need tests that result in each of these functions being called.

function f(x)
if x >= 0

    function root
        x = sqrt(x);
    function square
        x = x.^2;

Decision Coverage

Decision coverage identifies the decision outcomes achieved by the tests. Use this type of coverage to determine whether decisions in your source code, including branching and control flow statements, have been tested.

Typically, a decision is an expression that affects the flow of the program with the MATLAB keywords if, elseif, switch, for, or while. Additionally, if modified condition/decision coverage (MC/DC) reporting is enabled, any assignment statement that contains the short-circuiting logical operators && or || is considered a decision.

For example, this code includes three decisions if MC/DC reporting is enabled, and two decisions otherwise. To achieve 100% decision coverage, you need tests that evaluate each included decision to both true and false.

function y = f(x)
z = (x > -3) || (x == -5);  % Decision #1 (if MC/DC reporting is enabled)
if x > 0    % Decision #2
    y = 1;
elseif (x < 0) && z % Decision #3
    y = -1;
    y = 0;


When you create a plugin with the MetricLevel name-value argument specified as "decision" or "condition", the plugin ignores the decisions in the source code that do not follow a branching or control flow keyword. The plugin analyzes such decisions only when you specify MetricLevel as "mcdc".

Condition Coverage

Condition coverage identifies the condition outcomes achieved by the tests. Use this type of coverage to determine whether every condition in your source code has been evaluated to both true and false.

Conditions are logical expressions that do not contain short-circuiting operators, but that are part of an assignment statement formed by such operators. For example, this code has two conditions. To achieve 100% condition coverage, you need tests that evaluate each condition to both true and false.

y = (x > -3) || (x == -5);  % An assignment statement with two conditions
z = x ~= 0; % Not a condition
if x == 0   % A decision but not a condition
    disp("x is zero.")
    disp("x is nonzero.")

Modified Condition/Decision Coverage (MC/DC)

Modified condition/decision coverage (MC/DC) identifies how tests independently exercise conditions within decisions. To achieve 100% MC/DC, you need tests that satisfy both of these statements:

  • All conditions within decisions are evaluated to both true and false.

  • Every condition within a decision independently affects the outcome of the decision.

Instead of testing for all possible combinations of condition outcomes, satisfying these statements requires fewer tests. For example, consider the decision result = x || (y && z), which contains three conditions x, y, and z. This table shows how different condition outcomes affect the decision outcome.


To achieve 100% MC/DC for result = x || (y && z), testing for combinations 2, 3, 4, and 6 is sufficient because:

  • Combinations 2 and 6 show that x can take both possible values and also affect the decision outcome independently.

  • Combinations 2 and 4 show that y can take both possible values and also affect the decision outcome independently.

  • Combinations 3 and 4 show that z can take both possible values and also affect the decision outcome independently.

How to Use Coverage Types

To perform a code coverage analysis using the supported coverage types, specify the MetricLevel name-value argument when you create a plugin using one of the static methods of the CodeCoveragePlugin class. For example, run your tests and generate an interactive HTML code coverage report that includes all supported metrics for the source code in a folder.

import matlab.unittest.plugins.CodeCoveragePlugin
import matlab.unittest.plugins.codecoverage.CoverageReport

suite = testsuite("MyTestClass");
runner = testrunner("textoutput");
format = CoverageReport;
plugin = CodeCoveragePlugin.forFolder("myFolder", ...
results =;

The MetricLevel argument specifies which coverage types to include in the analysis. This table shows the possible values of MetricLevel and the corresponding coverage types.

Value of MetricLevelTypes of Coverage Included
"statement" (default)Statement and function coverage
"decision"Statement, function, and decision coverage
"condition"Statement, function, decision, and condition coverage
"mcdc"Statement, function, decision, condition, and modified condition/decision coverage

See Also


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