Combining Spreadsheet Smells for Improved Fault Prediction

by   Patrick Koch, et al.

Spreadsheets are commonly used in organizations as a programming tool for business-related calculations and decision making. Since faults in spreadsheets can have severe business impacts, a number of approaches from general software engineering have been applied to spreadsheets in recent years, among them the concept of code smells. Smells can in particular be used for the task of fault prediction. An analysis of existing spreadsheet smells, however, revealed that the predictive power of individual smells can be limited. In this work we therefore propose a machine learning based approach which combines the predictions of individual smells by using an AdaBoost ensemble classifier. Experiments on two public datasets containing real-world spreadsheet faults show significant improvements in terms of fault prediction accuracy.


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