Prophet: Automatic Patch Generation via Learning from Successful Human Patches

Unknown author (2015-05-26)

We present Prophet, a novel patch generation system that learns a probabilistic model over candidate patches from a large code database that contains many past successful human patches. It defines the probabilistic model as the combination of a distribution over program points based on error localization algorithms and a parameterized log-linear distribution over modification operations. It then learns the model parameters via maximum log-likelihood, which identifies important characteristics of the successful human patches. For a new defect, Prophet generates a search space that contains many candidate patches, applies the learned model to prioritize those potentially correct patches that are consistent with the identified successful patch characteristics, and then validates the candidate patches with a user supplied test suite.