Multi-Location Program Repair Strategies Learned from Past Successful Experience

10/30/2018 ∙ by Shangwen Wang, et al. ∙ 0

Automated program repair (APR) has great potential to reduce the effort and time-consumption in software maintenance and becomes a hot topic in software engineering recently with many approaches being proposed. Multi-location program repair has always been a challenge in this field since its complexity in logic and structure. While some approaches do not claim to have the features for solving multi-location bugs, they generate correct patches for these defects in practice. In this paper, we first make an observation on multi-location bugs in Defects4J and divide them into two categories (i.e., similar and relevant multi-location bugs) based on the repair actions in their patches. We then summarize the situation of multi-location bugs in Defects4J fixed by current tools. We analyze the twenty-two patches generated by current tools and propose two feasible strategies for fixing multi-location bugs, illustrating them through two detailed case studies. At last, the experimental results prove the feasibility of our methods with the repair of two bugs that have never been fixed before. By learning from successful experience in the past, this paper points out possible ways ahead for multi-location program repair.

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