“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes” wrote Benjamin Franklin in 1789. Had he lived in modern times, Franklin might have added “software bugs” to his list.
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Modern computer programs are so complex that the cell will inevitably arise during the development process. This is why finding them and writing patches to fix them a regular part of any software development schedule. Indeed, there are companies like Travis that offer this service to developers.
But finding and determining the spot time-consuming business that consume significant resources. Various researchers have developed bots that automate this process, but they tend to be slow or produce poorly written code that doesn’t pass muster. Even the developers dearly love to be able to rely on speed and high quality bot that cleans up the code for errors, and then wrote a patch to fix it.
The day of their dreams thanks to the work of Martin Monperrus and colleagues at the KTH Royal Institute of technology in Stockholm, Sweden. These guys have finally built a bot that can compete with human developers in finding bugs and writing high-quality spots.
These men call on the bot Repairnator successfully tested it by letting it compete against human developers to find solutions. “This is a Info human-competitiveness in software engineering automatic search for program repair” as they say.
Computer scientists have long known that it is possible to automate the process of writing patches. But it is not clear if Mr can do this work as fast as humans and the same quality.
Even Monperrus participated in the selection of this by disguising Repairnator Human developer and allow him to compete human to put the patches on the GitHub, version control site software developers. “The main idea of the Repairnator is to automatically generate patches to fix the build failure, then show them that the human developers, and finally see if human developers to accept them in favor of contributions to the code base” tell Monperrus and associates.
The team created a GitHub user called Lucas Esape, which seems to be a software engineer in a research lab. “Luke, I have his file photo looks like a junior developer, keen to make open source contributions on GitHub,” as they say.
But Locke is in fact Repairnator in disguise. This service was necessary because the human supervisors tend to evaluate the work of the human differently. “This camouflage is required to test a scientific hypothesis of human competitiveness,” says Monperrus Cooperation, who taught humans the knowledge of tricks.
The team conducted two runs to test Repairnator. The first ran from February to December 2017, when the team ran Repairnator on the list of fixed 14,188 GitHub projects looking for errors. “We found that the model is capable of performing nearly 30 attempts to repair in the day” they say.
During this time, Repairnator analysis of more than 11,500 builds with failure. This was able to reproduce the failure in more than 3,000 cases. Then went to put the patch in 15 cases.
However, none of these spots before in the construction of Repairnator took a long time to develop them or wrote low-quality spots that can not be accepted.
The second experimental run is more successful. This time the team set Luke to work on the Travis continuous integration from January to June 2018. Although the team did not specify what are the improvements on the Repairnator, January 12, wrote a patch that the human project acceptance in construction. “In other words, Repairnator man was competitive for the first time” as they say.
Over the next six months, Repairnator to the production of five patches that human moderators accepted.
This magnificent work, which paves the way for a new generation of software development. It also raises some interesting questions. Monperrus participated in the point patch Repairnator developed on GitHub a project called “Eclipse/Ditto” on May 12.
The team then received the following message from one of the developers: “we can only accept pull requests that come from users who have signed the Eclipse Foundation contributor license agreement.”
That raises a thorny issue since the bot does not physically sign the license agreement. “Who owns the intellectual property the responsibility of the bot’s contribution to: the Android player bot the product or the repair algorithm designer?” Ask Monperrus and associates.
This type of issues must be resolved by humans and can collaborate in more detail. But Monperrus posted in are optimistic. “We believe that Repairnator symbolizes a certain in the future of software development, where the human safety of cooperation and even collaboration in software artifacts” as they say.
Franklin’s famous early inventor himself, surely influenced by.
Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1810.05806 : human-competitive spot in the automatic program repair with Repairnator
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