A topic-based approach for narrowing the search space of buggy files from a bug report

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Locating buggy code is a time-consuming task in software development. Given a new bug report, developers must search through a large number of files in a project to locate buggy code. We propose BugScout, an automated approach to help developers reduce such efforts by narrowing the search space of buggy files when they are assigned to address a bug report. BugScout assumes that the textual contents of a bug report and that of its corresponding source code share some technical aspects of the system which can be used for locating buggy source files given a new bug report. We develop a specialized topic model that represents those technical aspects as topics in the textual contents of bug reports and source files, and correlates bug reports and corresponding buggy files via their shared topics. Our evaluation shows that BugScout can recommend buggy files correctly up to 45% of the cases with a recommended ranked list of 10 files.