Defect Detection for the Wayward Web

Speaker: Andy Ko , University of Washington

Date: Friday, April 15, 2011

Time: 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM

Refreshments: 2:45 PM

Public: Yes

Location: Patil/Kiva Seminar Room, 32-G449

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Host: Rob Miller, MIT CSAIL

Contact: Juho Kim, 6507969759,

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Reminder Subject: TALK: Defect Detection for the Wayward Web


The web is becoming an increasingly popular place for interactive software applications. And with good reason: it is platform-independent, information-rich, and highly flexible, enabling developers to rapidly prototype and deploy ideas with a range of dynamic languages such as JavaScript, Python, and PHP. Unfortunately, in trade for this flexibility, defects are often difficult to find without significant testing efforts. In this talk, I discuss two tools that detect defects in web applications automatically by exploiting patterns in how developers write web applications. The first is an analysis called Cleanroom, which attempts to detect faulty identifiers in client-side web application code by looking for program identifiers that appear only once across a web application's code base. The second is a static program analysis called FeedLack, which identifies control flow paths through user interface code that do not produce visible changes to a web page in response to user input. I describe empirical evaluations for both analyses, demonstrating their ability to detect defects in real web applications.


Andrew Ko is an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington Information School and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Engineering. His research interests are in software defects and how people deal with them, and more broadly in the fields of human-computer interaction and software engineering. He is the author of over fifty peer-reviewed publications, five of which received best paper awards. In 2010, he was awarded an NSF CAREER award to support his research and teaching on evidence-based bug triage. He received his Ph.D at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in 2008. He received degrees of Computer Science and Psychology from Oregon State University in 2002.

** The HCI Seminar is open to the public.

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Created by Linda L. Julien Email at Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 6:24 AM.