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Articles Tagged: Program analysis

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Adaptively ranking alerts generated from automated static analysis

Static analysis tools are useful for finding common programming mistakes that often lead to field failures. However, static analysis tools regularly generate a high number of false positive alerts, requiring manual inspection by the developer to determine if an alert is an indication of a fault. The adaptive ranking model presented in this paper utilizes feedback from developers about inspected alerts in order to rank the remaining alerts by the likelihood that an alert is an indication of a fault. Alerts are ranked based on the homogeneity of populations of generated alerts, historical developer feedback in the form of suppressing false positives and fixing true positive alerts, and historical, application-specific data about the alert ranking factors. The ordering of alerts generated by the adaptive ranking model is compared to a baseline of randomly-, optimally-, and static analysis tool-ordered alerts in a small role-based health care application. The adaptive ranking model provides developers with 81% of true positive alerts after investigating only 20% of the alerts whereas an average of 50 random orderings of the same alerts found only 22% of true positive alerts after investigating 20% of the generated alerts.

By Sarah Smith Heckman, December 2007

PDF | HTML | In the Digital Library