Transfer Defect Learning

Jaechang Nam, Sinno Jialin Pan, and Sunghun Kim

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, China; Institute for Infocomm Research, Singapore

Track: Technical Research
Session: Bug Prediction
Many software defect prediction approaches have been proposed and most are effective in within-project prediction settings. However, for new projects or projects with limited training data, it is desirable to learn a prediction model by using sufficient training data from existing source projects and then apply the model to some target projects (cross-project defect prediction). Unfortunately, the performance of cross-project defect prediction is generally poor, largely because of feature distribution differences between the source and target projects. In this paper, we apply a state-of-the-art transfer learning approach, TCA, to make feature distributions in source and target projects similar. In addition, we propose a novel transfer defect learning approach, TCA+, by extending TCA. Our experimental results for eight open-source projects show that TCA+ significantly improves cross-project prediction performance.