Where is the Bug and How is It Fixed? An Experiment with Practitioners

Böhme, Marcel and Soremekun, Ezekiel and Chattopadhyay, Sudipta and Ugherughe, Emamurho and Zeller, Andreas
(2017) Where is the Bug and How is It Fixed? An Experiment with Practitioners.
In: Proceedings of the 2017 11th Joint Meeting on Foundations of Software Engineering.
Conference: ESEC/FSE European Software Engineering Conference and the ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (formerly listed as ESEC)


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Official URL: http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/3106237.3106255


Research has produced many approaches to automatically locate, explain, and repair software bugs. But do these approaches relate to the way practitioners actually locate, understand, and fix bugs? To help answer this question, we have collected a dataset named DBGBENCH---the correct fault locations, bug diagnoses, and software patches of 27 real errors in open-source C projects that were consolidated from hundreds of debugging sessions of professional software engineers. Moreover, we shed light on the entire debugging process, from constructing a hypothesis to submitting a patch, and how debugging time, difficulty, and strategies vary across practitioners and types of errors. Most notably, DBGBENCH can serve as reality check for novel automated debugging and repair techniques.


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