FSE 2016 All Events

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

Desktop Layout

Student Research Competition
Foyer 3rd/4th Floor
Evaluation of Fault Localization Techniques
Spencer Pearson
(University of Washington, USA)
Publisher's Version
Abstract: Fault localization (FL) takes as input a faulty program and produces as output a list of code locations ranked by probability of being defective. A programmer doing debugging, or a program repair tool, could save time by focusing on the most suspicious locations. Researchers evaluate new FL techniques on programs with known faults, and score a technique based on where in its list the actual defect appears. This enables comparison of multiple FL techniques to determine which one is best. Previous research has primarily evaluated FL techniques using artificial faults, generated either by hand or automatically. Other prior work has shown that artificial faults have both similarities to and differences from real faults; given this, it is not obvious that the techniques that perform best on artificial faults will also perform best on real faults. This work compares 7 previously-studied FL techniques, both on artificial faults (as a replication study) and on real faults (to validate the assumption that artificial faults are useful proxies for real faults for comparisons of FL techniques). Our replication largely agreed with prior work, but artificial faults were not useful for predicting which FL techniques perform best on real faults. We also studied which characteristics make FL techniques perform well on real faults. We identified a design space that includes those 7 previously-studied FL techniques as well as 149 new ones, and determined which decisions were most important in designing a new technique.


Time stamp: 2019-03-24T01:29:08+01:00