Assessing the Quality of the Steps to Reproduce in Bug Reports

Oscar Chaparro, Carlos Bernal-Cárdenas, Jing Lu, Kevin Moran, Andrian Marcus, Massimiliano Di Penta, Denys Poshyvanyk, and Vincent Ng

Proceedings of the 27th ACM Joint Meeting on the Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE'19), (to appear), 2019

ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award

Abstract: A major problem with user-written bug reports, indicated by developers and documented by researchers, is the (lack of high) quality of the reported steps to reproduce the bugs. Low-quality steps to reproduce lead to excessive manual effort spent on bug triage and resolution. This paper proposes an approach (named Euler) that automatically identifies and assesses the quality of the steps to reproduce in a bug report, providing feedback to the reporters, which they can use to improve the bug report. The feedback provided by Euler was assessed by external evaluators and the results indicate that Euler correctly identified 98% of the existing steps to reproduce and 58% of the missing ones, while 73% of its quality annotations are correct.