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ICSE 2021
Mon 17 May - Sat 5 June 2021

Intrinsic bugs are bugs for which a bug-introducing change can be identified in the version control system of a software. In contrast, extrinsic bugs are caused by external changes to a software, such as errors in external APIs; thereby they do not have an explicit bug-introducing change in the version control system. Although most previous research literature has assumed that all bugs are of intrinsic nature, in a previous study, we show that not all bugs are intrinsic. This paper shows an example of how considering extrinsic bugs can affect software engineering research. Specifically, we study the impact of extrinsic bugs in Just-In-Time bug prediction by partially replicating a recent study by McIntosh and Kamei on JIT models. These models are trained using properties of earlier bug-introducing changes. Since extrinsic bugs do not have bug-introducing changes in the version control system, we manually curate McIntosh and Kamei’s dataset to distinguish between intrinsic and extrinsic bugs. Then, we address their original research questions, this time removing extrinsic bugs, to study whether bug-introducing changes are a moving target in Just-In-Time bug prediction. Finally, we study whether characteristics of intrinsic and extrinsic bugs are different. Our results show that intrinsic and extrinsic bugs are of different nature. When removing extrinsic bugs the performance is different up to 16 % Area Under the Curve points. This indicates that our JIT models obtain a more accurate representation of the real world. We conclude that extrinsic bugs negatively impact Just-In-Time models. Furthermore, we offer evidence that extrinsic bugs should be further investigated, as they can significantly impact how software engineers understand bugs.

Thu 27 May

Displayed time zone: Amsterdam, Berlin, Bern, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna change

11:50 - 13:05
3.2.3. Defect Prediction: Bug Characterization & AnalysisJournal-First Papers / NIER - New Ideas and Emerging Results at Blended Sessions Room 3 +12h
Chair(s): Robert Feldt Chalmers | University of Gothenburg, Blekinge Institute of Technology
Watch out for Extrinsic Bugs! A Case Study of their Impact in Just-In-Time Bug Prediction Models on the OpenStack projectJournal-First
Journal-First Papers
Gema Rodríguez-Pérez University of Waterloo, Mei Nagappan University of Waterloo, Gregorio Robles Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
DOI Pre-print Media Attached
An Empirical Study of Model-Agnostic Techniques for Defect Prediction ModelsJournal-First
Journal-First Papers
Jirayus Jiarpakdee Monash University, Australia, Kla Tantithamthavorn Monash University, Hoa Khanh Dam University of Wollongong, John Grundy Monash University
Link to publication Pre-print Media Attached
On the cost and profit of software defect predictionJournal-First
Journal-First Papers
Steffen Herbold University of Göttingen
Link to publication DOI Pre-print Media Attached
Software Ticks Need No SpecificationsNIER
NIER - New Ideas and Emerging Results
Christoph Reichenbach Lund University
Pre-print Media Attached