Samantha Syeda Khairunnesa: MS Final Oral

Samantha Syeda Khairunnesa
Wednesday, November 1, 2017 - 4:00pm
223 Atanasoff
Event Type: 

Major Professor:  Rajan, Hridesh
Committee Member 1:  Chang, Carl
Committee Member 2:  Le, Wei
Committee Member 3:  Rajan, Hridesh

Status:  MS Final Oral
Date: Wed, 2017-11-01
Time: 4:00 pm
Location: 223 Atanasoff Hall

Title: Exploiting Implicit Beliefs to Resolve Sparse Usage Problem in
Usage-Based Specification Mining
Abstract: Frameworks and libraries provide application programming interfaces
(APIs) that serve as building blocks in modern software development. As APIs
present the opportunity of increased productivity, it also calls for correct
use to avoid buggy code. The usage-based specification mining technique has
shown great promise in solving this problem through a data-driven approach.
These techniques leverage the use of the API in large corpora to understand
the recurring usages of the APIs and infer behavioral specifications
(preconditions and postconditions) from such usages. A challenge for such
technique is thus inference in the presence of insufficient usages, in terms
of both frequency and richness. We refer to this as a "sparse usage problem.
This thesis presents the first technique to solve the sparse usage problem in
usage-based precondition mining. Our key insight is to leverage implicit beliefs
to overcome sparse usage. An implicit belief (IB) is the knowledge
implicitly derived from the fact about the code. An IB about a program is
known implicitly to a programmer via the language's constructs and semantics,
and thus not explicitly written or specified in the code. The technical
underpinnings of our new precondition mining approach include a technique to
analyze the data and control flow in the program leading to API calls to
infer preconditions that are implicitly present in the code corpus, a catalog
of 35 code elements in total that can be used to derive implicit beliefs from
a program, and empirical evaluation of all of these ideas. We have analyzed
over 350 millions lines of code and 7 libraries that suffer from the sparse
usage problem. Our approach realizes 6 implicit beliefs and we have observed
that adding single-level context sensitivity can further improve the result
of usage based precondition mining. The result shows that we achieve overall
60% in precision and 69% in recall and the accuracy is relatively improved by
32% in precision and 78% in recall compared to base usage-based mining
approach for these libraries.