Using class imbalance learning for software defect prediction

Shuo WANG, Xin YAO

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

431 Citations (Scopus)


To facilitate software testing, and save testing costs, a wide range of machine learning methods have been studied to predict defects in software modules. Unfortunately, the imbalanced nature of this type of data increases the learning difficulty of such a task. Class imbalance learning specializes in tackling classification problems with imbalanced distributions, which could be helpful for defect prediction, but has not been investigated in depth so far. In this paper, we study the issue of if and how class imbalance learning methods can benefit software defect prediction with the aim of finding better solutions. We investigate different types of class imbalance learning methods, including resampling techniques, threshold moving, and ensemble algorithms. Among those methods we studied, AdaBoost.NC shows the best overall performance in terms of the measures including balance, G-mean, and Area Under the Curve (AUC). To further improve the performance of the algorithm, and facilitate its use in software defect prediction, we propose a dynamic version of AdaBoost.NC, which adjusts its parameter automatically during training. Without the need to pre-define any parameters, it is shown to be more effective and efficient than the original AdaBoost.NC. © 2012 IEEE.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6509481
Pages (from-to)434-443
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Reliability
Issue number2
Early online date26 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Class imbalance learning
  • ensemble learning
  • negative correlation learning
  • software defect prediction


Dive into the research topics of 'Using class imbalance learning for software defect prediction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this