Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

3-2016

Abstract

Fault localization is useful for reducing debugging effort. Such techniques require test cases with oracles, which can determine whether a program behaves correctly for every test input. Although most fault localization techniques can localize faults relatively accurately even with a small number of test cases, choosing the right test cases and creating oracles for them are not easy. Test oracle creation is expensive because it can take much manual labeling effort (i.e., effort needed to decide whether the test cases pass or fail). Given a number of test cases to be executed, it is challenging to minimize the number of test cases requiring manual labeling and in the meantime achieve good fault localization accuracy. To address this challenge, this paper presents a novel test case selection strategy based on Diversity Maximization Speedup (Dms). Dms orders a set of unlabeled test cases in a way that maximizes the effectiveness of a fault localization technique. Developers are only expected to label a much smaller number of test cases along this ordering to achieve good fault localization results. We evaluate the performance of Dms on 2 different types of programs, single-fault and multi-fault programs. Our experiments with 411 faults from the Software-artifact Infrastructure Repository show (1) that Dms can help existing fault localization techniques to achieve comparable accuracy with on average 67 and 6 % fewer labeled test cases than previously best test case prioritization techniques for single-fault and multi-fault programs, and (2) that given a labeling budget (i.e., a fixed number of labeled test cases), Dms can help existing fault localization techniques reduce their debugging cost (in terms of the amount of code needed to be inspected to locate faults). We conduct hypothesis test and show that the saving of the debugging cost we achieve for the real C programs are statistically significant.

Keywords

Fault localization, Test case prioritization, Single-fault program, Multi-fault program

Discipline

Computer Sciences | Software Engineering

Research Areas

Software and Cyber-Physical Systems

Publication

Automated Software Engineering

Volume

23

Issue

1

First Page

43

Last Page

75

ISSN

0928-8910

Identifier

10.1007/s10515-014-0165-z

Publisher

Springer Verlag

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10515-014-0165-z

Comments

Advance online 06/09/2014

Share

COinS