Spectrum-based Software Fault Localization: A Survey of Techniques, Advances, and Challenges [article]

Higor A. de Souza, Marcos L. Chaim, Fabio Kon
2017 arXiv   pre-print
Despite being one of the most basic tasks in software development, debugging is still performed in a mostly manual way, leading to high cost and low performance. To address this problem, researchers have studied promising approaches, such as Spectrum-based Fault Localization (SFL) techniques, which pinpoint program elements more likely to contain faults. This survey discusses the state-of-the-art of SFL, including the different techniques that have been proposed, the type and number of faults
more » ... ey address, the types of spectra they use, the programs they utilize in their validation, the testing data that support them, and their use at industrial settings. Notwithstanding the advances, there are still challenges for the industry to adopt these techniques, which we analyze in this paper. SFL techniques should propose new ways to generate reduced sets of suspicious entities, combine different spectra to fine-tune the fault localization ability, use strategies to collect fine-grained coverage levels from suspicious coarser levels for balancing execution costs and output precision, and propose new techniques to cope with multiple-fault programs. Moreover, additional user studies are needed to understand better how SFL techniques can be used in practice. We conclude by presenting a concept map about topics and challenges for future research in SFL.
arXiv:1607.04347v2 fatcat:kjdgi6qvqzgn5fjjy4hfviwc3u