Yi Li bio photo

Yi Li

Associate Professor

College of Computing and Data Science (CCDS)
Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

Address: Block N4-02b-63
50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798
Phone: +65 6790 4287

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Precise Semantic History Slicing Through Dynamic Delta Refinement

Yi Li, Chenguang Zhu, Milos Gligoric, Julia Rubin, and Marsha Chechik

Automated Software Engineering, 2019

Abstract: Semantic history slicing solves the problem of extracting changes related to a particular high-level functionality from software version histories. State-of-the-art techniques combine static program analysis and dynamic execution tracing to infer an over-approximated set of changes that can preserve the functional behaviors captured by a test suite. However, due to the conservative nature of such techniques, the sliced histories may contain irrelevant changes. In this paper, we propose a divide-and-conquer-style partitioning approach enhanced by dynamic delta refinement to produce much smaller semantic history slices. We utilize deltas in dynamic invariants generated from successive test executions to learn significance of changes with respect to the target functionality. Additionally, we introduce a file-level commit splitting technique for untangling unrelated changes introduced in a single commit. Empirical results indicate that these measurements accurately rank changes according to their relevance to the desired test behaviors and thus partition history slices in an efficient and effective manner.


  author = {Li, Yi and Zhu, Chenguang and Gligoric, Milos and Rubin, Julia and Chechik, Marsha},
  journal = {Automated Software Engineering},
  month = dec,
  number = {4},
  pages = {757--793},
  title = {Precise Semantic History Slicing Through Dynamic Delta Refinement},
  volume = {26},
  year = {2019}
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