Building an Ensemble for Software Defect Prediction Based on Diversity Selection
Background: Ensemble techniques have gained attention in various scientific fields. Defect prediction researchers have investigated many state-of-the-art ensemble models and concluded that in many cases these outperform standard single classifier techniques. Almost all previous work using ensemble techniques in defect prediction rely on the majority voting scheme for combining prediction outputs, and on the implicit diversity among single classifiers. Aim: Investigate whether defect prediction can be improved using an explicit diversity technique with stacking ensemble, given the fact that different classifiers identify different sets of defects. Method: We used classifiers from four different families and the weighted accuracy diversity (WAD) technique to exploit diversity amongst classifiers. To combine individual predictions, we used the stacking ensemble technique. We used state-of-the-art knowledge in software defect prediction to build our ensemble models, and tested their prediction abilities against 8 publicly available data sets. Conclusion: The results show performance improvement using stacking ensembles compared to other defect prediction models. Diversity amongst classifiers used for building ensembles is essential to achieving these performance improvements.