A widely shared belief in the software engineering community is that stack traces are much sought after by developers to support them in debugging. But limited empirical evidence is available to confirm the value of stack traces to developers. In this paper, we seek to provide such evidence by conducting an empirical study on the usage of stack traces by developers from the ECLIPSE project. Our results provide strong evidence to this effect and also throws light on some of the patterns in bug fixing using stack traces. We expect the findings of our study to further emphasize the importance of adding stack traces to bug reports and that in the future, software vendors will provide more support in their products to help general users make such information available when filing bug reports.

Download the Full Paper

The full paper is available for download, if you want to learn more about bug reports.


If you would like to cite the research in your own work, please use the following citation:

 author = "Adrian Schroeter and Nicolas Bettenburg and Rahul Premraj",
 title = "Do Stacktraces help Developers Fix Bugs?",
 booktitle = "MSR '10: Proceedings of the 2010 International Working Conference on Mining Software Repositories",
 year = "2010",
 pages = "118--122",
 location = "Cape Town, South Africa",
 publisher = "IEEE"

Legal Disclaimer

This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author’s copyright. In most cases, these works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.