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Developing model-based automatic debugging strategies has been an active research area for several years, with the aim of locating defects in a program by utilising fully automated generation of a model of the program from its source code. We provide an overview of current techniques in model-based debugging and assess strengths and weaknesses of the individual approaches. An empirical comparison is presented that investigates the relative accuracy of different models on a set of test programs and fault assumptions, showing that our abstract interpretation based model provides high accuracy at significantly less computational effort than slightly more accurate techniques. We compare a range of model-based debugging techniques with other state-of-the-art automated debugging approaches and outline possible future developments in automatic debugging using model-based reasoning as the central unifying component in a comprehensive framework.
Date of Conference: 15-19 Sept. 2008