Do bugs propagate? an empirical analysis of temporal correlations among software bugs

Xiaodong Gu, Yo Sub Han, Sunghun Kim, Hongyu Zhang

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

Abstract

The occurrences of bugs are not isolated events, rather they may interact, affect each other, and trigger other latent bugs. Identifying and understanding bug correlations could help developers localize bug origins, predict potential bugs, and design better architectures of software artifacts to prevent bug affection. Many studies in the defect prediction and fault localization literature implied the dependence and interactions between multiple bugs, but few of them explicitly investigate the correlations of bugs across time steps and how bugs affect each other. In this paper, we perform social network analysis on the temporal correlations between bugs across time steps on software artifact ties, i.e., software graphs. Adopted from the correlation analysis methodology in social networks, we construct software graphs of three artifact ties such as function calls and type hierarchy and then perform longitudinal logistic regressions of time-lag bug correlations on these graphs. Our experiments on four open-source projects suggest that bugs can propagate as observed on certain artifact tie graphs. Based on our findings, we propose a hybrid artifact tie graph, a synthesis of a few well-known software graphs, that exhibits a higher degree of bug propagation. Our findings shed light on research for better bug prediction and localization models and help developers to perform maintenance actions to prevent consequential bugs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication35th European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, ECOOP 2021
EditorsAnders Moller, Manu Sridharan
PublisherSchloss Dagstuhl- Leibniz-Zentrum fur Informatik GmbH, Dagstuhl Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9783959771900
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jul 1
Event35th European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, ECOOP 2021 - Virtual, Aarhus, Denmark
Duration: 2021 Jul 112021 Jul 17

Publication series

NameLeibniz International Proceedings in Informatics, LIPIcs
Volume194
ISSN (Print)1868-8969

Conference

Conference35th European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, ECOOP 2021
Country/TerritoryDenmark
CityVirtual, Aarhus
Period21/7/1121/7/17

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support given by Spanish MINECO (ENE2014-52158-C2-1-R) and FEDER. Moreover, thanks are due to Ms C. D'Ottavi (Dept. Chemical Sciences and Technology, University of Rome ?Tor Vergata?) for her valuable technical support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Schloss Dagstuhl- Leibniz-Zentrum fur Informatik GmbH, Dagstuhl Publishing. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software

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