The Different Categories of Debugging

Debugging is defined as a process of analyzing and removing the error. We consider it necessary in most of the newly developed software. For complex products, one performs debugging at all levels of testing. It is a complex and time-consuming process since it aims to remove all the errors at all levels of testing. To be able to perform debugging, there is a debugger, which is a tool for debugging that you can use to reproduce the conditions in which failure occurred, examine the program state, and locate and track the cause.

To debug a program, the user has to start with a problem. Isolate the source code of the problem and then fix it. We expect that the user of the program or application must know how to fix the problem as knowledge about problem analysis. When the bug is fixed, the software may be ready to use and launched. Some programming language packages provide a debugger for checking and assessing the code for errors while one writes it at the run time.

In general, there are four categories for debugging approaches:

1. Brute force

This method is the most common but the least efficient for isolating the course of a software system. A printout of all registers and relevant memory locations is obtained and studied. We only apply this method when all else fails. This approach becomes a lot of systematic with the use of a symbolic program, wherein we also know it as a “source code debugger”. As a result, variables will be undergo simple checking and can be easily set effortlessly.

2. Backtracking

This is additionally a reasonably common approach to software. During this method, starting from the statement at which an error symptom has been discovered, the source code is derived backward until the error is discovered. It is quite a modern approach of debugging, which we use effectively in the case of small applications. Unfortunately, as the number of source lines increases, the number of potential backward paths may become unmanageably large.

3. Cause elimination

The third category in debugging, which is Cause Elimination, undergoes manifestation by induction or deduction and introduces the concept of binary partitioning. A “cause hypothesis” is devised, and the data are used to prove or disprove the hypothesis. A listing of causes that may presumably have contributed to the error symptom is developed, and tests are conducted to eliminate it. A related technique of identification of the error from the error system is that the package fault tree analysis.

4. Program slicing

This category is analogous to backtracking. A slice of a program for a specific variable at a certain statement is that set of supply lines following this statement, which will affect the worth of that variable.

Each type of the categories as mentioned above in debugging approaches can be supplemented with different debugging tools. We can apply a wide variety of debugging tools such as:

  • Debugging compilers
  • Dynamic debugging aids
  • Automatic test case generators
  • Memory debugs
  • Cross-reference maps

The following are the main debugging tools in the market today. You can look into it and decide what tools or approaches should best fit your program or application.

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