The 25th IFIP International Conference on Testing Software and Systems
Nov 13-15, 2013
Istanbul, Turkey

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Survey of Bug Localization Approaches using Dynamic Analysis

Short Bio:

Jason Lee is a Senior Software Test Engineer with Dolby Laboratories, Inc. - Australia. He has been involved in the QA effort for several embedded audio projects in Dolby, including test design, test execution, test metrics, and development of global test automation framework. Currently, he is QA leading an audio project, which has 3 staffs in the Beijing office branch. In his free time, he actively pursues research, particularly in software debugging, and contributes to the research field as program committee and technical reviewers. Recently, he had also been invited to give talks in conference and universities within Australia, on industry perspective of software testing.


Bugs are pervasive in software under development and tracking them down contributes greatly to the cost of software development.  It has been estimated that debugging accounts for over 50 percent of the time spent in a typical programming project [Hailpern and Santhanam, 2002]. One of the many useful sources of data to help locating bugs is automated software debugging using dynamic analysis.
This tutorial reviews the literature of software bug localization using dynamic analysis. Several studies have proposed different approaches to locate bugs by exploiting the information gathered from dynamic analysis; which is the test coverage. This is also better known as program spectra, which captures the dynamic behavior of program.
In this tutorial, I will provide an example of dynamic analysis in terms of a simple program segment. I will then describe the concept of test coverage information represented in the form of program spectra.  I will review four main approaches which use the information from dynamic analysis to locate bugs effectively. They are listed as:

a. Test coverage information
b. Statistical methods
c. State(s) of the program
d. Machine learning with test coverage information

Finally I will describe current trends and direction of bug localization using dynamic analysis.

Selected Publications:
1. Naish, Lee, Hua Jie, Lee, Kotagiri Ramamohanarao: Spectral Debugging with Weights and Incremental Ranking. In Proceedings of the 2009 16th Asia-Pacific Software Engineering Conference, APSEC 2009, pages 168-175, IEEE, December 2009.
2. Hua Jie, Lee, Naish, Lee, Kotagiri Ramamohanarao: Effective Software Bug Localization Using Spectral Frequency Weighting Function. In Proceedings of the 2010 34th Annual IEEE Computer Software and Applications Conference, COMPSAC 2010, pages 218-227, IEEE, July 2010.
3. Naish, Lee, Hua Jie, Lee, Kotagiri Ramamohanarao: A Model for Spectra-based Software Diagnosis. ACM Trans. Softw. Eng. Methodol. 20(3):11(2011).
4. Naish, Lee, Hua Jie, Lee, Kotagiri Ramamohanarao: Spectral Debugging: How much better can we do? In Proceedings of the 35th Australasian Computer Science Conference, ACSC 2012, January 2012.
5. Naish, Lee, Hua Jie, Lee: Duals in Spectral Fault Localization. In Proceeding of the 22nd ASWEC 2013, June 2013.



Call for Tutorials:

ICTSS 2013 invites proposals for tutorials, including tool demonstrations, that are within the scope of ICTSS 2013. Please see above for the topics of interest for ICTSS series. Proposals are solicited only for half day tutorials, i.e. approximately 3 hours including a 30 min break.

Although single presenter tutorials are welcome as well, we encourage two or three speaker tutorials.

Proposals should provide sufficient information to evaluate the quality and importance of the topic, the likely quality of the presentation materials, and the speakers' teaching ability. The written proposal should be 2-3 pages long and should include the following sections:

    • Topic overview: What will the tutorial be about? Why is this an interesting and significant subject for ICTSS audience?

    • Target audience: From which areas do you expect potential participants to come? What prior knowledge, if any, do you expect from the audience?

    • Contents of the tutorial: What will the participants learn? Provide a detailed outline of the topics to be presented, including estimates for the time that will be devoted to each subject. Aim for a total length of approximately three hours (including an 30 min break). If possible, provide samples of past tutorial slides or teaching materials. In case of multiple presenters, specify how you will distribute the work.

    • Format: How will you present the material? Will there be multimedia parts of the presentation? Do you plan software demonstrations? Specify any extraordinary technical equipment that you would need.

    • Organizers and presenters' expertise: Please include the name, email address, and webpage of all presenters. In addition, outline the presenters' background and include a list of publications in the tutorial area.

Tutorial proposals should be submitted via email in PDF format to the Tutorial Chairs.

Main conference registration fee will be waived for speakers at accepted tutorials - up to three speakers for each tutorial. This is not to be understood as a condition waving required author registration for an accepted paper for the main conference.

Deadlines for Tutorials

      • May 15, 2013 Deadline for submission of tutorial proposals
      • June 01, 2013 Notification of tutorial acceptance