Conference paper Open Access

Inferring Performance Bug Patterns from Developer Commits

Yiqun Chen; Stefan Winter; Neeraj Suri

Performance bugs, i.e., program source code that is unnecessarily inefficient, have received significant attention by the research community in recent years. A number of empirical studies have investigated how these bugs differ from “ordinary” bugs that cause functional deviations and several approaches to aid their detection, localization, and removal have been proposed. Many of these approaches focus on certain subclasses of performance bugs, e.g., those resulting from redundant computations or unnecessary synchronization, and the evaluation of their effectiveness is usually limited to a small number of known instances of these bugs. To provide researchers working on performance bug detection and localization techniques with a larger corpus of performance bugs to evaluate against, we conduct a study of more than 700 performance bug fixing commits across 13 popular open source projects written in C and C++ and investigate the relative frequency of bug types as well as their complexity. Our results show that many of these fixes follow a small set of bug patterns, that they are contributed by experienced developers, and that the number of lines needed to fix performance bugs is highly project dependent.

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