Using Program Slicing to Identify Faults in Software

Authors Sue Black, Steve Counsell, Tracy Hall, Paul Wernick

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Sue Black
Steve Counsell
Tracy Hall
Paul Wernick

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Sue Black, Steve Counsell, Tracy Hall, and Paul Wernick. Using Program Slicing to Identify Faults in Software. In Beyond Program Slicing. Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings, Volume 5451, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2006)


This study explores the relationship between program slices and faults. The aim is to investigate whether the characteristics of program slices can be used to identify fault-prone software components. Slicing metrics and dependence clusters are used to characterise the slicing profile of a software component, then the relationship between the slicing profile of the component and the faults in that component are then analysed. Faults can increase the likelihood of a system becoming unstable causing problems for the development and evolution of the system. Identifying faultprone components is difficult and reliable predictors of faultproneness not easily identifiable. Program slicing is an established software engineering technique for the detection and correction of specific faults. An investigation is carried out into whether the use of program slicing can be extended as a reliable tool to predict fault-prone software components. Preliminary results are promising suggesting that slicing may offer valuable insights into fault-proneness.
  • Program slicing
  • slicing metrics
  • fault proneness
  • software quality


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