Cross-language bug localization

Xin Xia, David Lo, Xingen Wang, Chenyi Zhang, Xinyu Wang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Bug localization refers to the process of identifying source code files that contain defects from textual descriptions in bug reports. Existing bug localization techniques work on the assumption that bug reports, and identifiers and comments in source code files, are written in the same language (i.e., English). However, software users from non-English speaking countries (e.g., China) often use their native languages (e.g., Chinese) to write bug reports. For this setting, existing studies on bug localization would not work as the terms that appear in the bug reports do not appear in the source code. We refer to this problem as cross-language bug localization. In this paper, we propose a cross-language bug localization algorithm named CrosLocator, which is based on language translation. Since different online translators (e.g., Google and Microsoft translators) have different translation accuracies for various texts, CrosLocator uses multiple translators to convert a non-English textual description of a bug report into English { each bug report would then have multiple translated versions. For each translated version, CrosLocator applies a bug localization technique to rank source code files. Finally, CrosLocator combines the multiple ranked lists of source code files. Our preliminary experiment on Ruby-China shows that CrosLocator could achieve mean reciprocal rank (mrr) and mean average precision (map) scores of up to 0.146 and 0.116, which outperforms a baseline approach by an average of 10% and 12% respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication22nd International Conference on Program Comprehension (ICPC 2014) - Proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationJune 2–3, 2014 Hyderabad, India
EditorsChanchal K. Roy, Andrew Begel, Leon Moonen
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781450328791
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Program Comprehension 2014 - Hyderabad, India
Duration: 2 Jun 20143 Jun 2014
Conference number: 22nd


ConferenceInternational Conference on Program Comprehension 2014
Abbreviated titleICPC 2014
Internet address


  • Bug localization
  • Cross-language
  • Rank
  • Translator

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