Volume 8 Number 3 (Mar. 2013)
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JSW 2013 Vol.8(3): 603-616 ISSN: 1796-217X
doi: 10.4304/jsw.8.3.603-616

Automated Breakpoint Generation for Debugging

Cheng Zhang1, 3, Juyuan Yang2, Dacong Yan4, Shengqian Yang4, Yuting Chen2
1Department of Computer Science & Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.
2School of Software, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.
3State Key Laboratory of Computer Science, Institute of Software, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
4Computer Science and Engineering Department, Ohio State University

Abstract—In debugging processes breakpoints are frequently used to inspect and understand the run-time program behavior. Although modern development environments provide convenient breakpoint utilities, it mostly requires considerable human effort to create useful breakpoints. Before setting a breakpoint or typing a breakpoint condition, developers usually have to make some judgements and hypotheses based on their observations and experiences. To reduce such kind of effort, we propose an approach to automatically generating breakpoints for debugging. We combine the nearest neighbor queries method, dynamic program slicing, and memory graph comparison to identify suspicious program statements and states. Based on this information, breakpoints are generated and divided into two groups, where the primary group contains conditional breakpoints and the secondary group contains unconditional ones. We implement the presented approach on top of the Eclipse JDT platform. Our objective experiments and user study indicate that the generated breakpoints can be effective in aiding debugging work.

Index Terms—Software debugging, breakpoint generation.

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Cite: Cheng Zhang, Juyuan Yang, Dacong Yan, Shengqian Yang, Yuting Chen, "Automated Breakpoint Generation for Debugging," Journal of Software vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 603-616, 2013.

General Information

ISSN: 1796-217X (Online)
Frequency:  Quarterly
Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Antanas Verikas
Executive Editor: Ms. Yoyo Y. Zhou
Abstracting/ Indexing: DBLP, EBSCO, CNKIGoogle Scholar, ProQuest, INSPEC(IET), ULRICH's Periodicals Directory, WorldCat, etc
E-mail: jsw@iap.org
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