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Publication Detail
Automated software transplantation
  • Publication Type:
    Conference
  • Authors:
    Barr ET, Harman M, Jia Y, Marginean A, Petke J
  • Publication date:
    13/07/2015
  • Pagination:
    257, 269
  • Published proceedings:
    2015 International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis, ISSTA 2015 - Proceedings
  • ISBN-13:
    9781450336208
  • Status:
    Published
Abstract
Automated transplantation would open many exciting avenues for software development: suppose we could autotrans-plant code from one system into another, entirely unrelated, system. This paper introduces a theory, an algorithm, and a tool that achieve this. Leveraging lightweight annotation, program analysis identifies an organ (interesting behavior to transplant); testing validates that the organ exhibits the desired behavior during its extraction and after its implantation into a host. While we do not claim automated transplantation is now a solved problem, our results are encouraging: we report that in 12 of 15 experiments, involving 5 donors and 3 hosts (all popular real-world systems), we successfully autotransplanted new functionality and passed all regression tests. Autotransplantation is also already useful: in 26 hours computation time we successfully autotransplanted the H.264 video encoding functionality from the x264 system to the VLC media player; compare this to upgrading x264 within VLC, a task that we estimate, from VLC's version history, took human programmers an average of 20 days of elapsed, as opposed to dedicated, time. Copyright is held by the owner/author(s).
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