Professor James A. Jones Receives ASE 2019’s Most Influential Paper Award

Jones receiving Most Influential Paper award at ASE 2019.Congratulations to Prof. James A. Jones for being honored with the Most Influential Paper award at the 34th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE 2019)! This award recognizes the most influential ASE paper of the past 15 years. The 2019 award was bestowed for the 2005 ASE paper titled “Empirical Evaluation of the Tarantula Automatic Fault-Localization Technique,” which was co-authored by Jones and the late Prof. Mary Jean Harrold of Georgia Tech.

Jones’s paper is the most cited ASE conference paper of all time. According to Google Scholar, it has more than 1,000 citations.

Jones’s paper is largely responsible for introducing and popularizing the field of work that is now called Spectra-based Fault Localization. The main contribution of this paper and work is to analyze correlations between execution information that were gathered in white-box testing practices, and the pass/fail status of the test cases that produced them. Doing so can point to locations in the software’s code that are likely to contain the bugs that caused the testing failures, and thus can provide automated debugging assistance to software developers. “I’m truly honored to be recognized with this award,” said Jones. “Our work has been the subject of a lot of discussion and subsequent work, both in extending and improving spectra-based fault localization and in the use of the technique for other purposes (such as in automatic program repair). This award is a wonderful acknowledgement of that body of work and reflection upon its influence.”

This is the second time Jones’s work has been recognized in such manner. In 2015 his 2002 International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) paper titled “Visualization of Test Information to Assist Fault Localization,” co-authored by Prof. Mary Jean Harrold and Prof. John Stasko of Georgia Tech, was bestowed the venerable SIGSOFT Impact Paper Award.

Jones’s ASE paper is available at:

For more information on Jones and his research, visit:

This article appeared in ISR Connector issue: