Conceptually speaking, automated
program repair closes the gap between the huge manual effort spent
today in writing correct programs,
and the ultimate dream of generating
programs automatically via learning
approaches. Given the challenges of
generating multiline program fixes in
program repair, we can thus imagine
the difficulty of generating explainable programs automatically.
Pragmatically speaking, automated
program repair also makes us keenly
aware of the challenges in managing
changes in software engineering projects, and the need for automation in
this arena. Today, manual debugging
and maintenance often takes up 80%
of the resources in a software project,
prompting practitioners to long declare a legacy crisis. 25 In the future,
program repair can provide tool support by repairing bugs from complex
changes in software projects. This can
help resolve a dilemma of developers
when managing program changes:
“Our dilemma is that we hate change
and love it at the same time; what we
really want is for things to remain the
same but get better.”d
d Quote by Sydney J. Harris.
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Claire Le Goues ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is an associate
professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh,
Michael Pradel ( email@example.com) is a
professor at the University of Stuttgart, Germany.
Abhik Roychoudhury ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is a
professor at the National University of Singapore.
© 2019 ACM 0001-0782/19/12
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