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Spreadsheet bibliography

Title Using constraints to diagnose faulty spreadsheets
Authors Rui Abreu, Birgit Hofer, Alexandre Perez, & Franz Wotawa
Year 2015
Type Article
Publication Software Quality Journal
Series Volume 23, Issue 2, June, pages 297-322

Spreadsheets can be viewed as a highly flexible programming environment for end users. Spreadsheets are widely adopted for decision making and may have a serious economical impact for the business. However, spreadsheets are staggeringly prone to errors. Hence, approaches for aiding the process of pinpointing the faulty cells in a spreadsheet are of great value.

We present a constraint-based approach, ConBug, for debugging spreadsheets. The approach takes as input a (faulty) spreadsheet and a test case that reveals the fault and computes a set of diagnosis candidates for the debugging problem. Therefore, we convert the spreadsheet and a test case to a constraint satisfaction problem.

We perform an empirical evaluation with 78 spreadsheets from different sources, where we demonstrate that our approach is light-weight and efficient. From our experimental results, we conclude that ConBug helps end users to pinpoint faulty cells.

Full version Available
Example from EUSES spreadsheet corpus
Example from EUSES spreadsheet corpus
This example spreadsheet, from the EUSES spreadsheet corpus, contains a formula error. It is used to illustrate the basic concepts of ConBug.