Machine translation-based bug localization technique for bridging lexical gap

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

35 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-61
Journal / PublicationInformation and Software Technology
Online published6 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


Context: The challenge of locating bugs in mostly large-scale software systems has led to the development of bug localization techniques. However, the lexical mismatch between bug reports and source codes degrades the performances of existing information retrieval or machine learning-based approaches.
Objective: To bridge the lexical gap and improve the effectiveness of localizing buggy files by leveraging the extracted semantic information from bug reports and source code.
Method: We present BugTranslator, a novel deep learning-based machine translation technique composed of an attention-based recurrent neural network (RNN) Encoder-Decoder with long short-term memory cells. One RNN encodes bug reports into several context vectors that are decoded by another RNN into code tokens of buggy files. The technique studies and adopts the relevance between the extracted semantic information from bug reports and source files.
Results: The experimental results show that BugTranslator outperforms a current state-of-the-art word embedding technique on three open-source projects with higher MAP and MRR. The results show that BugTranslator can rank actual buggy files at the second or third places on average.
Conclusion: BugTranslator distinguishes bug reports and source code into different symbolic classes and then extracts deep semantic similarity and relevance between bug reports and the corresponding buggy files to bridge the lexical gap at its source, thereby further improving the performance of bug localization.

Research Area(s)

  • Bug localization, Deep learning, Lexical mismatch, Machine translation