Conference Paper

Mutation-based evolutionary fault localisation


Fault localisation is an expensive and timeconsuming stage of software maintenance. Research is continuing to develop new techniques to automate the process of reducing the effort needed for fault localisation without losing quality. For instance, spectrum-based techniques use execution information from testing to formulate measures for ranking a list of suspicious code locations at which the program may be defective: the suspiciousness formulae mainly combine variables related to code coverage and test results (pass or fail). Moreover previous research has evaluated mutation analysis data (mutation spectra) instead of coverage traces, to yield promising results. This paper reports on a Genetic Programming (GP) solution for the fault localisation problem together with a set of experiments to evaluate the GP solution with respect to baselines and benchmarks. The innovative aspects are is the joint investigation of: (i) specialisation of suspiciousness formulae for certain contexts; (ii) the application of mutation spectra to GP-evolved formulae, i.e. signals other than program coverage; (iii) a comparison of the effectiveness of coverage spectra and mutation spectra in the context of evolutionary approaches; and (iv) an analysis of the mutation spectra quality. The results show the competitiveness of GP-evolved mutation spectra heuristics over coverage traces as well as over a number of baselines, and suggest that the quality of mutation-related variables increases the effectiveness of fault localisation heuristics.

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de-Freitas, Diogo M.
Leitao-Junior, Plinio S.
Camilo-Junior, Celso G.
Harrison, Rachel

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment\School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics


Year of publication: 2018
Date of RADAR deposit: 2018-06-15

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of Mutation-based evolutionary fault localisation


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