Fine-grained incremental learning and multi-feature tossing graphs to improve bug triaging

Pamela Bhattacharya, Iulian Neamtiu

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

147 Scopus citations


Software bugs are inevitable and bug fixing is a difficult, expensive, and lengthy process. One of the primary reasons why bug fixing takes so long is the difficulty of accurately assigning a bug to the most competent developer for that bug kind or bug class. Assigning a bug to a potential developer, also known as bug triaging, is a labor-intensive, time-consuming and faultprone process if done manually. Moreover, bugs frequently get reassigned to multiple developers before they are resolved, a process known as bug tossing. Researchers have proposed automated techniques to facilitate bug triaging and reduce bug tossing using machine learning-based prediction and tossing graphs. While these techniques achieve good prediction accuracy for triaging and reduce tossing paths, they are vulnerable to several issues: outdated training sets, inactive developers, and imprecise, singleattribute tossing graphs. In this paper we improve triaging accuracy and reduce tossing path lengths by employing several techniques such as refined classification using additional attributes and intra-fold updates during training, a precise ranking function for recommending potential tossees in tossing graphs, and multi-feature tossing graphs. We validate our approach on two large software projects, Mozilla and Eclipse, covering 856,259 bug reports and 21 cumulative years of development. We demonstrate that our techniques can achieve up to 83.62% prediction accuracy in bug triaging. Moreover, we reduce tossing path lengths to 1.5-2 tosses for most bugs, which represents a reduction of up to 86.31% compared to original tossing paths. Our improvements have the potential to significantly reduce the bug fixing effort, especially in the context of sizable projects with large numbers of testers and developers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2010 IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance, ICSM 2010
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event2010 IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance, ICSM 2010 - Timisoara, Romania
Duration: Sep 12 2010Sep 18 2010

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance, ICSM


Conference2010 IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance, ICSM 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software


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