An Empirical Investigation into the Reproduction of Bug Reports for Android Apps

Jack Johnson, Junayed Mahmud, Tyler L Wendland, Kevin Moran, Julia Rubin, Mattia Fazzini

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

One of the key tasks related to ensuring mobile app quality is the reporting, management, and resolution of bug reports. As such, researchers have committed considerable resources toward automating various tasks of the bug management process for mobile apps, such as reproduction and triaging. However, the success of these automated approaches is largely dictated by the characteristics and properties of the bug reports they operate upon. As such, understanding mobile app bug reports is imperative to drive the continued advancement of report management techniques. While prior studies have examined high-level statistics of large sets of reports, we currently lack an in-depth investigation of how the information typically reported in mobile app issue trackers relates to the specific details generally required to reproduce the underlying failures. In this paper, we perform an in-depth analysis of 180 re-producible bug reports systematically mined from Android apps on GitHub and investigate how the information contained in the reports relates to the task of reproducing the described bugs. In our analysis, we focus on three pieces of information: the environment needed to reproduce the bug report, the steps to reproduce (S2Rs), and the observed behavior. Focusing on this information, we characterize failure types, identify the modality used to report the information, and characterize the quality of the information within the reports. We find that bugs are reported in a multi-modal fashion, the environment is not always provided, and S2Rs often contain missing or non-specific enough information. These findings carry with them important implications on automated bug reproduction techniques as well as automated bug report management approaches more generally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2022 IEEE International Conference on Software Analysis, Evolution and Reengineering, SANER 2022
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages321-322
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)9781665437868
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022
Event29th IEEE International Conference on Software Analysis, Evolution and Reengineering, SANER 2022 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: Mar 15 2022Mar 18 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings - 2022 IEEE International Conference on Software Analysis, Evolution and Reengineering, SANER 2022

Conference

Conference29th IEEE International Conference on Software Analysis, Evolution and Reengineering, SANER 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online
Period3/15/223/18/22

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
ACKNOWLEDGMENT This work was partially supported by a gift from Facebook and the NSF CCF-2007246 & CCF-1955853 grants. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions expressed herein are the authors’ and do not necessarily reflect those of the sponsors.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 IEEE.

Keywords

  • Android apps
  • Bug report reproduction
  • Bug reports

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