Many spectrum-based fault localization measures have been proposed in the literature. However, no single fault localization measure completely outperforms others: a measure which is more accurate in localizing some bugs in some programs is less accurate in localizing other bugs in other programs. This paper proposes to compose existing spectrum-based fault localization measures into an improved measure. We model the composition of various measures as an optimization problem and present a search-based approach to explore the space of many possible compositions and output a heuristically near optimal composite measure. We employ two search-based strategies including genetic algorithm and simulated annealing to look for optimal solutions and compare the effectiveness of the resulting composite measures on benchmark software systems. Compared to individual spectrum-based fault localization techniques, our composite measures perform statistically significantly better.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/david_lo/69/