Division by Zero: Threats and Effects in Spectrum-Based Fault
Dániel Vince, Attila Szatmári, Ákos Kiss and Árpád
Spectrum-Based Fault Localization (SBFL) is based on
risk formulas to rank program elements, which work generally well
in various situations. However, it cannot be ruled out that zero
division might happen during score calculation, which has negative
consequences, e.g., essential elements will not be in the top part
of the rank list. The literature has given several strategies to
tackle the problem, although there is little knowledge on which
one to use. In our work, we performed mathematical analysis and an
empirical study to find out how this phenomenon affects SBFL.
Results show that division by zero happens in many cases, and the
strategies can mitigate their consequences with varying success.
Thus, we propose a combined method to avoid the threat of division
by zero and improve the trustworthiness of SBFL. Our proposals
should be taken into consideration whenever a formula
is being used or a new one is proposed.
Debugging, Division by Zero, Empirical, Fault
Localization, Spectrum-based Fault Localization