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Presentation by Dr. Dongsun Kim from the University of Luxembourg (07/06/2017)

Dr. Dongsun Kim:
"Impact of Tool Support in Patch Construction"


Abstract
In this work, we investigate the practice of patch construction in the Linux kernel development, focusing on the differences between three patching processes: (1) patches crafted entirely manually to fix bugs, (2) those that are derived from warnings of bug detection tools, and (3) those that are automatically generated based on fix patterns. With this study, we provide to the research community concrete insights on the practice of patching as well as how the development community is currently embracing research and commercial patching tools to improve productivity in repair. The result of our study shows that tool-supported patches are increasingly adopted by the developer community while manually-written patches are accepted more quickly. Patch application tools enable developers to remain committed to contributing patches to the code base. Our findings also include that, in actual development processes, patches generally implement several change operations spread over the code, even for patches fixing warnings by bug detection tools. Finally, this study has shown that there is an opportunity to directly leverage the output of bug detection tools to readily generate patches that are appropriate for fixing the problem, and that are consistent with manually-written patches.

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