In this paper, we propose a novel technique, namely INVALIDATOR, to automatically assess the correctness of APR-generated patches via semantic and syntactic reasoning. INVALIDATOR reasons about program semantic via program invariants while it also captures program syntax via language semantic learned from large code corpus using the pre-trained language model. Given a buggy program and the developer-patched program, INVALIDATOR infers likely invariants on both programs. Then, INVALIDATOR determines that a APR-generated patch overfits if: (1) it violates correct specifications or (2) maintains errors behaviors of the original buggy program. In case our approach fails to determine an overfitting patch based on invariants, INVALIDATOR utilizes a trained model from labeled patches to assess patch correctness based on program syntax. The benefit of INVALIDATOR is three-fold. First, INVALIDATOR is able to leverage both semantic and syntactic reasoning to enhance its discriminant capability. Second, INVALIDATOR does not require new test cases to be generated but instead only relies on the current test suite and uses invariant inference to generalize the behaviors of a program. Third, INVALIDATOR is fully automated. We have conducted our experiments on a dataset of 885 patches generated on real-world programs in Defects4J. Experiment results show that INVALIDATOR correctly classified 79% overfitting patches, accounting for 23% more overfitting patches being detected by the best baseline. INVALIDATOR also substantially outperforms the best baselines by 14% and 19% in terms of Accuracy and F-Measure, respectively.
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