Proceedings of the 7th Joint Meeting of the European Software Engineering Conference and the
ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Foundation of Software Engineering
(ESEC '09/FSE-17),
ACM Press, New York, NY, pp. 43-52 (2009)

Capturing Propagation of Infected Program States 1

Zhenyu Zhang 2 , W.K. Chan 3 , T.H. Tse 2 , Bo Jiang 2 , and Xinming Wang 4

[author-izer free download from ACM digital library]


Coverage-based fault-localization techniques find the fault-related positions in programs by comparing the execution statistics of passed executions and failed executions. They assess the fault suspiciousness of individual program entities and rank the statements in descending order of their suspiciousness scores to help identify faults in programs. However, many such techniques focus on assessing the suspiciousness of individual program entities but ignore the propagation of infected program states among them. In this paper, we use edge profiles to represent passed executions and failed executions, contrast them to model how each basic block contributes to failures by abstractly propagating infected program states to its adjacent basic blocks through control flow edges. We assess the suspiciousness of the infected program states propagated through each edge, associate basic blocks with edges via such propagation of infected program states, calculate suspiciousness scores for each basic block, and finally synthesize a ranked list of statements to facilitate the identification of program faults. We conduct a controlled experiment to compare the effectiveness of existing representative techniques with ours using standard benchmarks. The results are promising.

Keywords: Fault localization, edge profile, basic block, control flow edge

1. This research is supported in part by the General Research Fund of the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (project nos. 111107 and 716507).
2. Department of Computer Science, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.
3. (Corresponding author.)
Department of Computer Science, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Hong Kong.
4. Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong.


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