Boosting Spectrum-based Fault Localization Using PageRank

Mengshi Zhang, Xia Li, Lingming Zhang, Sarfraz Khurshid

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Manual debugging is notoriously tedious and time-consuming. Therefore, various automated fault localization techniques have been proposed to help with manual debugging. Among the existing fault localization techniques, spectrum-based fault localization (SBFL) is one of the most widely studied techniques due to being lightweight. A focus of existing SBFL techniques is to consider how to differentiate program source code entities (i.e., one dimension in program spectra); indeed, this focus is aligned with the ultimate goal of finding the faulty lines of code. Our key insight is to enhance existing SBFL techniques by additionally considering how to differentiate tests (i.e., the other dimension in program spectra), which, to the best of our knowledge, has not been studied in prior work. We present PRFL, a lightweight technique that boosts spectrum-based fault localization by differentiating tests using PageRank algorithm. Given the original program spectrum information, PRFL uses PageRank to recompute the spectrum information by considering the contributions of different tests. Then, traditional SBFL techniques can be applied on the recomputed spectrum information to achieve more effective fault localization. Although simple and lightweight, PRFL has been demonstrated to outperform state-of- the-art SBFL techniques significantly (e.g., ranking 42% more real faults within Top-1 compared with the most effective traditional SBFL technique) with low overhead (e.g., around 2 minute average extra overhead on real faults) on 357 real faults from 5 Defects4J projects and 30692 artificial (i.e., mutation) faults from 87 GitHub projects, demonstrating a promising future for considering the contributions of different tests during fault localization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationISSTA 2017 - Proceedings of the 26th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis
EditorsKoushik Sen, Tevfik Bultan
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages261-272
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450350761
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 10 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event26th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis, ISSTA 2017 - Santa Barbara, United States
Duration: Jul 10 2017Jul 14 2017

Publication series

NameISSTA 2017 - Proceedings of the 26th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis

Other

Other26th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis, ISSTA 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySanta Barbara
Period7/10/177/14/17

Keywords

  • PageRank
  • Software testing
  • Spectrum-based fault localization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Software

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