: Search-based crash reproduction hardness analysis

Student thesis: Master typesMaster in Computer Science Professional focus in Software engineering


Search-Based Crash Reproduction (SBCR) aims at helping developers in their debugging tasks by generating a test case reproducing a specific crash, based on its stack trace and the source code. In traditional search-based unit test generation approaches, the hardness to generate test cases is evaluated using static code analysis, like complexity, coupling or code size. Unlike unit test generation, SBCR does not seek to achieve high structural coverage but to reproduce a specific behaviour leading to a crash. In this work, we revisit links between SBCR and software quality metrics to assess the hardness of search-based crash reproducing test case generation. We use the values of the fitness function of Botsing, a search-based crash reproducing tool, as an indicator of the difficulty of the tool to reproduce a crash. Our results show pieces of evidence of an existing link between some software quality metrics and the values of the fitness score. However, we did not find any strong correlation between an individual metric and the hardness to reproduce a crash.
Date of Award22 Jun 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Namur
SupervisorBenoit Vanderose (Supervisor)


  • search-based crash reproduction
  • static code analysis
  • code quality metrics
  • change metrics
  • correlation study

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