Robin Abraham & Martin Erwig
Spreadsheets are widely used, and studies have shown that most end-user spreadsheets contain non-trivial errors. Most of the currently available tools that try to mitigate this problem require varying levels of user intervention.
This paper presents a system, called UCheck, that detects errors in spreadsheets automatically. UCheck carries out automatic header and unit inference, and reports unit errors to the users. UCheck is based on two static analyses phases that infer header and unit information for all cells in a spreadsheet.
We have tested UCheck on a wide variety of spreadsheets and found that it works accurately and reliably. The system was also used in a continuing education course for high school teachers, conducted through Oregon State University, aimed at making the participants aware of the need for quality control in the creation of spreadsheets.
The system uses cell shading to communicate fault localization information, and also listed the references from a cell.
The users should direct their debugging efforts to the cells that have been shaded orange. For example, in this sheet correcting the reference to cell C3 in cell B5, would remove all the unit errors.
2007, Journal of Visual Languages and Computing, Volume 18, Issue 1, February, pages 71-95