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[Colloquium] Automatic Program Repair Using Genetic Programming

February 12, 2013

Watch Colloquium: 

M4V file (784 MB)

  • Date: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 
  • Time: 11:00 am — 11:50 am 
  • Place: Mechanical Engineering 218

Claire Le Goues PhD Candidate
University of Virginia 

“Everyday, almost 300 bugs appear…far too many for only the Mozilla programmers to handle” –Mozilla developer, 2005

Software quality is a pernicious problem. Although 40 years of software engineering research has provided developers considerable debugging support, actual bug repair remains a predominantly manual, and thus expensive and time-consuming, process. I will describe GenProg, a technique that uses evolutionary computation to automatically fix software bugs. My empirical evidence demonstrates that GenProg can quickly and cheaply fix a large proportion of real-world bugs in open-source C programs. I will also briefly discuss the atypical evolutionary search space of the automatic program repair problem, and the ways it has challenged assumptions about software defects.


Bio: Claire Le Goues is a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science at the University of Virginia. Her research interests lie in the intersection of software engineering and programming languages, with a particular focus on software quality and automated error repair. Her work on automatic program repair has been recognized with Gold and Bronze designations at the 2009 and 2012 ACM SIGEVO “Humies” awards for Human-Competitive Results Produced by Genetic and Evolutionary Computation and several distinguished and featured paper awards.