Researchers Invent Automated Software Patching Technique

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) say they have built a machine-learning system that creates automatic software patches with a success rate 10 times that of existing automation techniques, a development they say could have a broad impact on software engineering. In tests, the system, called Prophet, was able to repair between 15 and 18 bugs in a set of programming errors, compared with only one or two using previous automated bug-repair techniques, MIT said. Engineering implications MIT professor of electrical engineering and computer science Martin Rinard, whose group developed the new system, said Prophet’s success indicates that correct, working code has properties that can be recognised and used to evaluate any software, something he said could have wider implications for computer engineering. “This is just the first…

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