Cross Project Defect Prediction via Balanced Distribution Adaptation Based Transfer Learning

Zhou Xu, Shuai Pang, Tao Zhang, Xia Pu Luo, Jin Liu, Yu Tian Tang, Xiao Yu, Lei Xue

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Defect prediction assists the rational allocation of testing resources by detecting the potentially defective software modules before releasing products. When a project has no historical labeled defect data, cross project defect prediction (CPDP) is an alternative technique for this scenario. CPDP utilizes labeled defect data of an external project to construct a classification model to predict the module labels of the current project. Transfer learning based CPDP methods are the current mainstream. In general, such methods aim to minimize the distribution differences between the data of the two projects. However, previous methods mainly focus on the marginal distribution difference but ignore the conditional distribution difference, which will lead to unsatisfactory performance. In this work, we use a novel balanced distribution adaptation (BDA) based transfer learning method to narrow this gap. BDA simultaneously considers the two kinds of distribution differences and adaptively assigns different weights to them. To evaluate the effectiveness of BDA for CPDP performance, we conduct experiments on 18 projects from four datasets using six indicators (i.e., F-measure, g-means, Balance, AUC, EARecall, and EAF-measure). Compared with 12 baseline methods, BDA achieves average improvements of 23.8%, 12.5%, 11.5%, 4.7%, 34.2%, and 33.7% in terms of the six indicators respectively over four datasets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1039-1062
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Computer Science and Technology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019


  • balancing distribution
  • cross-project defect prediction
  • effort-aware indicator
  • transfer learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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