Singling the odd ones out: A novelty detection approach to find defects in infrastructure-as-code

Stefano Dalla Palma, Majid Mohammadi, Dario Di Nucci, Damian A. Tamburri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) is increasingly adopted. However, little is known about how to best maintain and evolve it. Previous studies focused on defining Machine-Learning models to predict defect-prone blueprints using supervised binary classification. This class of techniques uses both defective and non-defective instances in the training phase. Furthermore, the high imbalance between defective and non-defective samples makes the training more difficult and leads to unreliable classifiers. In this work, we tackle the defect-prediction problem from a different perspective using novelty detection and evaluate the performance of three techniques, namely OneClassSVM, LocalOutlierFactor, and IsolationForest, and compare their performance with a baseline RandomForest binary classifier. Such models are trained using only non-defective samples: defective data points are treated as novelty because the number of defective samples is too little compared to defective ones. We conduct an empirical study on an extremely-imbalanced dataset consisting of 85 real-world Ansible projects containing only small amounts of defective instances. We found that novelty detection techniques can recognize defects with a high level of precision and recall, an AUC-PR up to 0.86, and an MCC up to 0.31. We deem our results can influence the current trends in defect detection and put forward a new research path toward dealing with this problem.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMaLTeSQuE 2020 - Proceedings of the 4th ACM SIGSOFT International Workshop on Machine-Learning Techniques for Software-Quality Evaluation, Co-located with ESEC/FSE 2020
EditorsFoutse Khomh, Pasquale Salza, Gemma Catolino
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages31-36
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781450381246
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2020
Event4th ACM SIGSOFT International Workshop on Machine-Learning Techniques for Software-Quality Evaluation, MaLTeSQuE 2020, co-located with the ACM Joint European Software Engineering Conference and Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering, ESEC/FSE 2020 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: 13 Nov 2020 → …

Conference

Conference4th ACM SIGSOFT International Workshop on Machine-Learning Techniques for Software-Quality Evaluation, MaLTeSQuE 2020, co-located with the ACM Joint European Software Engineering Conference and Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering, ESEC/FSE 2020
CountryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online
Period13/11/20 → …

Keywords

  • Defect Prediction
  • Infrastructure-as-Code
  • Novelty Detection

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