Igor: Crash Deduplication Through Root-Cause Clustering

CCS 2021,

Zhiyuan Jiang , Xiyue Jiang , Ahmad Hazimeh , Chaojing Tang , Chao Zhang , Mathias Payer .


Fuzzing has emerged as the most effective bug-finding technique. The output of a fuzzer is a set of proof-of-concept (PoC) test cases for all observed “unique” crashes. It costs developers substantial efforts to analyze each crashing test case. This, mostly manual, process has lead to the number of reported crashes out-pacing the number of bug fixes. Automatic crash deduplication techniques, which mostly rely on coverage profiles and stack hashes, are supposed to alleviate these pressures. However, these techniques both inflate actual bug counts and falsely conflate unrelated bugs. This hinders, rather than helps, developers, and calls for more accurate techniques.

The highly-stochastic nature of fuzzing means that PoCs commonly exercise many program behaviors that are orthogonal to the crash’s underlying root cause. This diversity in program behaviors manifests as a diversity in crashes, contributing to bug-count inflation and conflation. Based on this insight, we develop Igor, an automated dual-phase crash deduplication technique. By minimizing each PoC’s execution trace, we obtain pruned test cases that exercise the critical behavior necessary for triggering a bug. Then, we use a graph similarity comparison to cluster crashes based on the control-flow graph of the minimized execution traces, with each cluster mapping back to a single, unique root cause.

We evaluate Igor against 39 bugs resulting from 254,000 PoCs, distributed over 10 programs. Our results show that Igor accurately groups these crashes into 48 uniquely identifiable clusters, while other state-of-the-art methods yield bug counts at least one order of magnitude larger.