For example, a loudspeaker might distort audio, but only when played at maximum volume, maximum bass, and in a high-humidity environment. Or a computer server may be unreliable, but only with the maximum complement of 64 processors, 512 GB of memory, and over 10,000 signed-on users.
Contrast a corner case with an edge case, an issue that occurs only at a (single) maximum or minimum parameter. For example, a speaker that distorts audio at maximum volume, even in the absence of other extreme settings or conditions.
Corner cases are part of an engineer's lexicon — especially an engineer involved in testing or debugging a complex system. Corner cases are often harder and more expensive to reproduce, test, and optimize because they require maximal configurations in multiple dimensions. They are frequently less-tested, given the belief that few product users will, in practice, exercise the product at multiple simultaneous maximum settings. Expert users of systems therefore routinely find corner case anomalies, and in many of these, errors. Historically, there have been situations where apparently impossible cases have occurred; one such case, that of the Therac-25 radiation therapy machine, caused deaths.
CAN CITY WORKERS GET TOO INVOLVED AT LOCAL LEVEL? A FIELDS CORNER CASE RAISES QUESTION OF POSSIBLE CONFLICT
Dec 15, 2002; Item: Department of Neighborhood Development staffer Tom Gannon writes his boss, Mayor Tom Menino, asking the city to help find a...