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Birgit Hofer & Franz Wotawa


Spreadsheets are the most prominent example of end-user programming. Unfortunately, spreadsheets often contain faults. Spreadsheets can be very complex and can contain several thousand formula. Therefore, debugging of spreadsheets can be a frustrating job.

In this paper, we explain how genetic programming can be used to automatically debug spreadsheets. Therefore, we adapt an automatic repair approach from the software debugging domain to the spreadsheet domain.

In an initial empirical evaluation, we show that genetic programming can be used to debug spreadsheets: For more than 55% of the spreadsheets, genetic programming is able to find a repair.


Mutation operators
Mutation operators

We have a fine-grained level of mutation that can change parts of a formula using a list of available operators.


2013, Software Reliability Engineering Workshops, November, pages 132-137

Full article

Mutation-based spreadsheet debugging

Also see

Presentation: Mutation-based spreadsheet debugging