Inferring and Applying Def-Use Like Configuration Couplings in Deployment Descriptors
When building enterprise applications on Java frameworks (e.g., Spring), developers often specify components and configure operations with a special kind of XML files named “deployment descriptors (DD)”. Maintaining such XML files is challenging and time-consuming; because (1) the correct configuration semantics is domain-specific but usually vaguely documented, and (2) existing compilers and program analysis tools rarely examine XML files. To help developers ensure the quality of DD, this paper presents a novel approach—Xeditor—that extracts configuration couplings (i.e., frequently co-occurring configurations) from DD, and adopts the coupling rules to validate new or updated files.
Xeditor has two phases: coupling extraction and bug detection. To identify couplings, Xeditor first mines DD in open-source projects, and extracts XML entity pairs that (i) frequently co-exist in the same files and (ii) hold the same data at least once. Xeditor then conducts customized association rule mining based on the extracted pairs. For bug detection, given a program commit, Xeditor checks whether any new or updated XML file violates the identified couplings; if so, Xeditor reports the violation(s).
We applied Xeditor to 4,248 DD, which were mined from 1,137 GitHub projects. Based on our manual inspection, Xeditor extracted couplings with high precision (73%). Furthermore, we built a ground truth data set based on the manual inspection results, and conducted 10-fold cross validation to evaluate Xeditor ’s effectiveness of bug detection. On average, Xeditor detected bugs with 92% precision, 96% recall, and 94% accuracy. Finally, we applied Xeditor to the version history of another 478 GitHub projects. Xeditor identified 26 really erroneous XML updates, 15 of which match the program changes later committed by developers.
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|Inferring and Applying Def-Use Like Configuration Couplings in Deployment Descriptors
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Johannes Dorn Leipzig University, Sven Apel Saarland University, Germany, Norbert Siegmund Leipzig UniversityDOI Pre-print
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