FSE 2016 All Events

24th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE 2016), November 13–18, 2016, Seattle, WA, USA

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Session 3: Bug Detection and Debugging
Research Papers
Emerald 3, Chair: Tingting Yu
Discovering Bug Patterns in JavaScript
Quinn Hanam, Fernando S. de M. Brito, and Ali Mesbah
(University of British Columbia, Canada; Federal University of Paraíba, Brazil)
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Publisher's Version
Preprint
Supplementary Material
Abstract: JavaScript has become the most popular language used by developers for client and server side programming. The language, however, still lacks proper support in the form of warnings about potential bugs in the code. Most bug finding tools in use today cover bug patterns that are discovered by reading best practices or through developer intuition and anecdotal observation. As such, it is still unclear which bugs happen frequently in practice and which are important for developers to be fixed. We propose a novel semi-automatic technique, called BugAID, for discovering the most prevalent and detectable bug patterns. BugAID is based on unsupervised machine learning using language-construct-based changes distilled from AST differencing of bug fixes in the code. We present a large-scale study of common bug patterns by mining 105K commits from 134 server-side JavaScript projects. We discover 219 bug fixing change types and discuss 13 pervasive bug patterns that occur across multiple projects and can likely be prevented with better tool support. Our findings are useful for improving tools and techniques to prevent common bugs in JavaScript, guiding tool integration for IDEs, and making developers aware of common mistakes involved with programming in JavaScript.

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Time stamp: 2019-03-19T15:17:54+01:00