Reverse Engineering and System Renovation
- An Annotated Bibliography -
M.G.J. van den Brand
P. Klint -
Programming Research Group, University of Amsterdam
Kruislaan 403, 1098 SJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Department of Software Technology
Centre for Mathematics and Computer Science
P.O. Box 4079, 1009 AB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
To facilitate research in the field of reverse engineering and
system renovation we have compiled an annotated bibliography. We put the
contributions not only in alphabetical order but also grouped by topic
so that readers focusing on a certain topic can read their annotations in
the alphabetical listing. We also compiled an annotated list of pointers
to information about reverse engineering and system renovation that can
be reached via Internet. For the sake of ease we also incorporated a
brief introduction to the field of reverse engineering.
Key Words & Phrases: Reverse engineering, Annotated bibliography,
1991 CR Categories: A.2, D.2.2, D.2.7, D.2.m, K.6.3
note: The authors were all in part sponsored by bank ABN AMRO,
software house DPFinance, and the Dutch Ministery of Economical Affairs
via the Senter Project #ITU95017 "SOS Resolver". The last author was
also supported by the Netherlands Computer Science Research Foundation
(SION) with financial support from the Netherlands Organization for
Scientific Research (NWO), project Interactive tools for program
There is a constant need for updating and renovating business-critical
software systems for many and divers reasons: business requirements
change, technological infrastructure is modernized, the government
changes laws, or the third millennium approaches, to mention a few.
Therefore, that in the area of software engineering the subjects of
reverse engineering and system renovation become more and more important.
The interest in such subjects originates from the difficulties that one
encounters when attempting to maintain extremely large software systems.
Such software systems are often called legacy systems, since it is
a legacy of many different people that have developed and maintained
them. It is not hard to understand that it is very difficult--if not
impossible--to maintain them.
To make the problems a bit more concrete we will compare such software
renovation projects to the renovation of a house. The problem that
software engineers encounter could very well be stated in house renovation
terms as the query: ``How to renovate your house with the additional
constraint that you want to use all the facilities of it during this
renovation?'' For many business-critical systems the same situation
holds: how to renovate your software system while at the same time
business continues as usual. An often heard (naïve) solution is
to throw away the software as soon as a totally new system is finished
(this is sometimes called shadowing). In house renovation terminology
this would mean that you would have to build a completely new house and
when this is finished you have to move the furniture from the old house
to the new house before you can start using the new one. Then you can
tear down the old one. It will be clear that this will be too expensive
and that the shipping of the furniture will take too much time to meet
the additional constraint. In software renovation terms the option of
building a totally new system and throwing away the old one is for the
same reasons as with a house renovation project usually too expensive
and often even impossible since the shipping of the ``furniture''
(say, databases) from the old system to the new system will take weeks.
So a more sophisticated renovation strategy seems necessary.
Before the actual renovation can start it will be necessary to make
an inventory of the specification and the documentation of the system
to be renovated. Also at this point there is a challenge for software
engineers since the old systems lack mostly these sources of information.
It is our experience that either there is no documentation at all, or
the original programmers that could possibly explain the functionality
of parts of the system have left, or both. The only documentation that
is left is the source code itself. Thus, since the vital information
of the software is solely accessible via the source code it will be
necessary to develop tools to facilitate the renovation--a task for
We hope to have elucidated that there is a need for sophisticated analysis
of software to be used in renovation methodologies for large software
systems, and that research on this issue is useful and important.
A step towards a sound analysis of software renovation research is to
study and analyze the literature on this subject, hence, this annotated
We want to stress that the bibliography is intended to be useful
for people who want to know more about reverse engineering and system
renovation. More precicely, many of the entries in our bibliography are
of a techical nature so researchers, practicioners and students interested
in reverse engineering will hopefully benefit from them. We also included
pointers to management issues and legal sides of reverse engineering
and system renovation meant for people interested in those aspects.
It is not complete but instead gives pointers for further reading.
In [Arnold1993] another annotated bibliography can be found.
There are also some on-line bibliographies. We discuss them in
In section 2 we give a brief impression of terminology in
reverse engineering where we follow [Chikofsky and Cross1990]. In the next section
(section 3) we sort the selected references by topic.
In section 4 we give pointers to other sources of
information: we provide a list of so-called universal resource locators.
We give a short description of what can be expected when connecting
to them. Finally, in section 5 we provide the annotated
We thank Arie van Deursen for discussions and
comments on an earlier version of this paper.
The term reverse engineering finds its origins in hardware technology and
denotes the process of obtaining the specification of complex hardware
systems. Now the meaning of this notion has shifted to software. As far
as we know there is not (yet) a standard definition of what reverse
engineering is but in [Chikofsky and Cross1990] we can read:
``Reverse engineering is the process of analyzing a subject system to
identify the system's components and their inter-relationships, and to
create representations of the system in another form at higher levels
According to [Chikofsky and Cross1990] the following six terms characterize system
- forward engineering,
- reverse engineering,
- design recovery,
- reengineering (or renovation).
Forward engineering moves from a high-level abstraction and
design to a low-level implementation. Reverse engineering can
be seen as the inverse process. It can be characterized as analysing
a software system in order to, firstly, identify the system components
and their interactions, and to, secondly, make representations of the
system on a different, possible higher, level of abstraction.
Reverse engineering restricts itself to investigating a system.
Adaptation of a system is beyond reverse engineering but within
the scope of system renovation. Redocumentation focuses on
making a semantically equivalent description at the same level of
abstraction. It is in fact a simple form of reverse engineering.
Tools for redocumentation include, among others, pretty printers,
diagram generators, and cross-reference listing generators. In
design recovery domain knowledge and external information is used to
make an equivalent description of a system at a higher level
of abstraction. So, more information than the source code of the system
is used. The notion restructuring amounts to transforming a system
from one representation to another one at the same level of abstraction.
An essential aspect of restructuring is that the semantic behaviour of the
original system and the new one should remain the same; no modifications
of the functionality is involved. The purpose of reengineering or
renovation is to study the system, by making a specification at a
higher abstraction level, adding new functionality to this specification
and develop a completely new system on the basis of the original one by
using forward engineering techniques.
Papers addressing reverse engineering and system recovery can be
classified in various categories. The classification that we propose is
based on the material that we found. First, we list some introductory
contributions and mention conferences dedicated to reverse engineering.
Then we will proceed with program understanding
and design recovery, reusability, maintainability, and program slicing.
Then we list contributions that deal with the reverse engineering of
more specific topics: data and data bases, user interfaces, and reverse
engineering for a number of languages. Then we list formal techniques,
tools and their implementation issues, restructuring and regeneration,
testing, management, and miscellaneous contributions.
Articles that give an
introduction to the field of reverse engineering and that define the
relevant notions are [Biggerstaff1989, Byrne1992, Chikofsky and Cross1990, Osborne and Chikofsky1990]. Books that
put the subject in context and contain a lot of introductory material
are: [Arnold1993, Brodie and Stonebraker1995, Lano and Haughton1994, Zuylen1993]. A book that is possibly interesting is
[Takeshita1992], but since it is in
Japanese we are not able to give
more information. A recent overview of research questions is given
in [Selfridge et al.
1993]. A tutorial on reverse engineering is [Rekoff1985].
Several conferences and workshops exist in this field, such as
Conference on Software Maintenance (e.g., [Kellner1992],16ex) and Working
Conference on Reverse Engineering (e.g., [Waters and Chikofsky1993],16ex).
There are many
recent papers on this subject. We provide an extensive list:
[Bertels et al.
1993, Rugaber and Clayton1993, Beck and Eichmann1993, Blazy and Facon1994, Biggerstaff et al.
1993, Biggerstaff1989, Cross1993, Cohen1995, Canfora et al.
1993b, Cordy et al.
1990, Cutillo et al.
1993, Choi and Scacchi1990, Chen et al.1990, Devanbu et al.
1991, Edwards and Munro1993, Hall1995, Harandi and Ning1990, Howden and Pak1992, Hausler et al.
1990, Johnson et al.
1992, Ning et al.1993, Oman and Cook1990, Olshefski and Cole1993, Ornburn and Rugaber1992, Paul and Prakash1994b, Quilici1993, Rugaber et al.
1990, Ritsch and Sneed1993, Rich and Wills1990, Johnson and Soloway1985, Vliet1993, Wills1993, Waters and Chikofsky1993, Wilde et al.
In these papers the focus is on how to prevent
the situation of legacy systems, that is, make the software easier
to maintain by programming in replaceable and reusable components.
[Gomaa1993, Hall1992, Khajenoori et al.
1994, Mii and Takeshita1993, Whittle and Ratcliffe1993],
To give an impression of the status of maintainability as a research
field we give 2 quotations. Schneidewind [Schneidewind1987a] wrote in
1987 in his introduction to a special section on software maintenance
that this ``subject has received relatively little attention from the
research community.'' Gallagher and Lyle write in [Gallagher and Lyle1991] ``While
some may view software maintenance as a less intellectually demanding
activity than development, the central premise of this work is that
software maintenance is more demanding.'' Here are some pointers
to the maintainability subject:
[Basili1990, Bennet et al.
1992, Freeman and Layzell1994, Gallagher and Lyle1991, Jørgensen1995, Schneidewind1987b, Kellner1992, Pickard and Carter1995, Paul and Prakash1994a, Hartmann and Robson1990],
A survey of program slicing techniques
is given in [Tip1995]. Other references are:
[Beck and Eichmann1993, Ning et al.1993, Cutillo et al.
1993, Gallagher and Lyle1991, Olshefski and Cole1993, Binkley1992, Hall1995, Weiser1984, Gupta et al.
One the first books on data reverse engineering is [Aiken1995]. Other
references are: [Aiken et al.
1993, Premerlani and Blaha1993, Hainaut et al.
1993, Ritsch and Sneed1993, Brodie and Stonebraker1995, Tangorra and Chiarolla1995, Tan and Ling1995].
[Merlo et al.
systems are written in COBOL. So a number of papers geared towards this
language are available. For other languages there are also contributions.
[Lano and Haughton1993, Edwards and Munro1993, Edwards and Munro1993, Gray et al.1995, Ning et al.1993, Cutillo et al.
1993, Hainaut et al.
1993, Ritsch and Sneed1993, Newcomb and Markosian1993, Zuylen1993, Sneed1992]
- [Canfora et al.
- [Chu and Patel1992, Olshefski and Cole1993, Wilde et al.
- [Canfora et al.
1993a, Cross1993, Gray et al.1995].
- [Vogt and Hendriks1994].
In the following list formal techniques are used in which CCS, Denotational
semantics, Petri nets, Z, and Z++ are applied to approach certain problems
in reverse engineering.
[Bowen et al.
1993, Baumann et al.
1994, Baumann et al.
1993, Horwitz et al.
1989, Keller et al.
1995, Lano and Haughton1993, Merlo et al.
1993, Ward and Bennett1993, Zuylen1993, Bennet et al.
Many tools have been implemented to aid in various reverse engineering
tasks. For an elaborate hypertext page on CASE tool vendors we refer
to section 4, where a pointer to an electronically
available index is given.
[Baumann et al.
1994, Baumann et al.
1993, Reubenstein et al.
1993, Ning et al.1993, Canfora et al.
1992, Canfora et al.
1993b, Cutillo et al.
1993, Keller et al.
1995, Miller and Straus III1987, Mendelzon and Sametinger1995, Olshefski and Cole1993, Cross1993, Rich and Waters1990, Reubenstein et al.
1993, Wills1993, Ward and Bennett1993, Wilde and Huitt1991, Newcomb and Markosian1993, Zuylen1993, Bennet et al.
1992, Johnson et al.
1992, Cordy et al.
1990, Paul and Prakash1994a, McGinnes1994, Tilley et al.
1994, Rich and Wills1990]
In this category, methods and tools are described to perform
actual reverse engineering tasks.
[Bennet et al.
1992, Chu and Patel1992, Kozaczynski et al.
1992, Hutchens and Basili1985, Miller and Straus III1987, Newcomb and Markosian1993, Oulsnam1982, Pleszkoch et al.
1992, Johnson and Soloway1985, Urschler1975, Waters1988, Williams and Ossher1978, Ward and Bennett1993, Ramshaw1988, Zuylen1993, Choi and Scacchi1990]
After modification of software systems it is necessary to test the new
system. Some pointers are
[Kung et al.
1993, Binkley1992, Laski and Szemer1992, Gupta et al.
1992, Hartmann and Robson1990]
Many reverse engineering projects are huge. The management of such
projects is not at all trivial and gets attention in:
[Aiken et al.
1993, Arnold1993, Ward and Bennett1993, Zuylen1993]
Certain issues that are important, but do not fit our classification in a
natural way are
[Ammarguellat1992, Hecht1977, Marlowe and Ryder1990, Belady and Evangelisti1981, Ashcroft and Manna1972, Samuelson1990, Withrow1990]. We mention that
the subjects go from go to elimination to legal aspects of reverse
In [Arnold1993] another annotated bibliography can be found. Noteworthy,
perhaps, is that this annotated bilbiography mainly contains other
references than ours.
Nowadays, much information is not only available via books and
journals but also via Internet. In this section we listed some
universal resource locators (URLs) that are related to reverse
engineering and system renovation, including some that contain
an on-line bibliography. Of course, we have made ourselves a
page that contains the URLs below. Contact
for both a dvi file of this bibliography and an hypertext version of
the list below.
- Aiken et al.
P. Aiken, A. Muntz, and R. Richards.
A framework for reverse engineering DoD legacy information
In [Waters and Chikofsky1993], pages 180-191, 1993.
Gives an overview of the reverse engineering methodology used
inside the DoD for the reengineering of information systems.
Data Reverse Engineering: Slaying the Legacy Dragon.
This is the first book describing the process of recovering
data architectures from existing information systems and using it to develop
a foundation for enterprise integration and other reengineering efforts.
A control-flow normalization algorithm and its complexity.
IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, 18(3):237-251,
A simple method is presented for normalizing the control-flow
of programs to facilitate program transformations, program analysis, and
automatic parallelization. This method does not make use of code replication.
The normalization results in a restructuring of the code that obviates the
need for control dependency relations.
IEEE Computer Society Press, 1993.
In this book an introduction to software reengineering is
provided. Context and definitions of key notions are included. Then various
subjects are treated in the form of a collection of papers that are reprinted
from other sources. Subjects that we can find are: business process
reengineering, the connection with economics, experiences with real-life
reengineering projects, evaluation of tools used in such projects, the
technological aspects of reengineering, data reengineering and its migration
problems, source code analysis, restructuring and translation, the annotation
and documentation of existing programs, reusability aspects, design recovery,
the object oriented approach to recovery, program understanding, and
knowledge based program analysis. This book contains an annotated
- Ashcroft and Manna1972
E. Ashcroft and Z. Manna.
The translation of goto programs into while programs.
In C.V. Freiman, J.E. Griffith, and J.L. Rosenfeld, editors,
Proceedings of IFIP Congress 71, volume 1, pages 250-255. North-Holland,
It is shown that every flowchart program can be written
without go to statements by using while statements. The transformation does
not give rise to less efficient programs and, moreover, the structure of the
original flowchart program is preserved.
Viewing maintenance as reuse oriented software development.
IEEE Software, 7(1):19-25, 1990.
In this paper the maintenance process is incorporated in the
life-cycle perspective geared towards the reusability of the various
- Baumann et al.
P. Baumann, J. Fässler, M. Kiser, and Z. Öztürk.
Beauty and the Beast or A Formal Description of the Control
Constructs of Cobol and its Implementation.
Technical Report 93.39, Department of Computer Science, University of
Zurich, Switzerland, 1993.
A formal semantics for a subset of COBOL is presented with the
aid of denotational semantics. The subset consists of the control constructs
of COBOL. In [Baumann et al.
1994] it is argued that precisely this subset is
relevant for reverse engineering.
- Baumann et al.
P. Baumann, J. Fässler, M. Kiser, Z. Öztürk, and L. Richter.
Semantics-based reverse engineering.
Technical Report 94.08, Department of Computer Science, University of
Zurich, Switzerland, 1994.
Denotational semantics is advocated as a formal foundation for
program understanding. The ideas are implemented in a tool for reverse
engineering called AEMES. This tool is geared towards COBOL-74.
- Beck and Eichmann1993
J. Beck and D. Eichmann.
Program and interface slicing for reverse engineering.
In [Waters and Chikofsky1993], pages 54-63, 1993.
Describes the use of program slicing for the reverse
engineering of Ada packages.
- Belady and Evangelisti1981
L. Belady and C. Evangelisti.
System partitioning and its measure.
Journal of Systems and Software, 2:23-29, 1981.
A method to perform automatic clustering of data structures
and calls is described. A metric to quantify the complexity of the resulting
partitioning is given.
- Bennet et al.
K. Bennet, T. Bull, and H. Yang.
A transformation system for maintenance: turning theory into
In [Kellner1992], pages 146-155, 1992.
Describes the architecture of the Maintainer's Assistant, a
reverse engineering tool based on program transformations. Discusses the role
of metrics in selecting appropriate transformations. Also see [Ward and Bennett1993].
- Bertels et al.
K. Bertels, Ph. Vanneste, and C. de Backer.
A cognitive approach to program understanding.
In [Waters and Chikofsky1993], pages 1-7, 1993.
Presents a method of program understanding based on a
cognitive model of programming knowledge. The approach involves the
generation of a high level, abstract, description that is robust with respect
to conceptual errors and syntactic variations.
- Biggerstaff et al.
T. Biggerstaff, B. Mitbander, and D. Webster.
The concept assignment problem in program understanding.
In [Waters and Chikofsky1993], pages 27-43, 1993.
The problem of discovering abstract human oriented concepts
and relating them to their implementation oriented counterparts is called the
concept assignment problem. Describes various heuristic clues, as
supported by the DESIRE system, that can be used for concept extraction.
Design recovery for maintenance and reuse.
IEEE Computer, 22(7):36-49, 1989.
Design recovery uses the source code of a system as well as
external information, such as documentation, personal experience, and
knowledge of problem and application domain, to make a higher level
abstraction. The key property is the formalization of informal information
and domain knowledge.
Using semantic differencing to reduce the cost of regression testing.
In [Kellner1992], pages 41-50, 1992.
Gives an algorithm using dependence graphs and program slicing
to partition a modified program in parts with affected program behaviour and
parts with unaffected behaviour. Only the parts with affected behaviour have
to be re-tested.
- Blazy and Facon1994
S. Blazy and P. Facon.
Partial evaluation for the understanding of FORTRAN programs.
International Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge
Engineering, 4(4):535-559, 1994.
A technique and a tool are described supporting the partial
evaluation of FORTRAN programs in order to understand old programs that have
become very complex due to numerous alterations.
- Bowen et al.
J. Bowen, P. Breuer, and K. Lano.
A compendium of formal techniques for software maintenance.
Software Engineering Journal, 8(5):253-262, 1993.
An overview of formal techniques developed recently to aid the
software maintenance process and particularly reverse engineering is given.
- Brodie and Stonebraker1995
M.L. Brodie and M. Stonebraker.
Migrating Legacy Systems -- Gateways, Interfaces & The
Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, Inc., 1995.
This book gives a detailed description of strategies for
migrating legacy systems. It advocates an incremental approach for the
migration instead of doing it in one step. The legacy system is
analyzed and the components to be updated are identified. The legacy system
and the new system work in parallel and are connected via gateways. Migrated
components are removed from the legacy system and added to the new system.
The crucial steps in this process are establishing the right ordering of the
components to be migrated and the use of powerful gateways. It is preferable
not to develop these gateways yourself but to obtain them from third party
software producers. A number of case-studies is presented and these
case-studies demonstrate that these gateways are crucial even if all the code
of the legacy system becomes obsolete. The book concludes with an extensive
list of third party software producers which produce gateways.
Software reverse engineering: A case study.
Software--Practice and Experience, 21(12):1349-1364, 1991.
Experience report describing the problem of reimplementing a
Fortran program in Ada. Instead of a one-to-one translation, the original
Fortran program is analyzed and design information is extracted which is then
used to reimplement the program in Ada.
A conceptual foundation for software re-engineering.
In [Kellner1992], pages 226-235, 1992.
A conceptual foundation for software reengineering is
presented yielding a general model of software reengineering. This model is
described and is shown to be useful for examining reengineering issues such
as the reengineering process and strategies for reengineering.
- Canfora et al.
G. Canfora, A. Cimitile, and U. de Carlini.
A logic-based approach to reverse engineering tools production.
IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, 18(12):1053-1064,
Difficulties arising during the use of documents produced by
reverse engineering tools are discussed and analyzed.
- Canfora et al.
G. Canfora, A. Cimitile, and U. De Carlini.
A reverse engineering process for design level document production
from ada code.
Information and Software Technology, 35(1):23-34, 1993.
A reverse engineering process for producing design level
documents by static analysis of ADA code is described. This is achieved via
concurrent data flow diagrams describing the task structure and the data flow
- Canfora et al.
G. Canfora, A. Cimitile, and M. Munro.
A reverse engineering method for identifying reusable abstract data
In [Waters and Chikofsky1993], pages 73-82, 1993.
Describes a methodology and experimental Prolog-based tool for
the extraction of reusable data type declarations from source code.
Illustrated for a medium-size Pascal program.
- Chen et al.1990
Y-F. Chen, M.Y. Nishimoto, and C.V. Ramamoorthy.
The C information abstraction system.
IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, 16(3):325-334,
A system for analyzing program structures is described. The
applications of this system include: generation of graphical views, subsystem
extraction, program layering, dead code elimination, and binding analysis.
- Chikofsky and Cross1990
E.J. Chikofsky and J.H. Cross.
Reverse engineering and design recovery: A taxonomy.
IEEE Software, 7(1):13-17, 1990.
Definitions of a number of key notions in the field of reverse
engineering are proposed. Forward and reverse engineering, redocumentation,
design recovery, restructuring, and reengineering are described.
- Choi and Scacchi1990
S.C. Choi and W. Scacchi.
Extracting and restructuring the design of large systems.
IEEE Software, 7(1):66-71, 1990.
An algorithm is described that for a given initial design
description the system-reconstruction algorithm constructs a hierarchy of the
system's modules and subsystems.
- Chu and Patel1992
W Chu and S. Patel.
Software restructuring by enforcing localization and information
In [Kellner1992], pages 165-172, 1992.
Starting with information describing function calls and global
variable usage, this paper presents a clustering technique that generates
Ada-like packages describing the structure of a given software system. Has
been applied to several existing systems implemented in C.
Inductive specification recovery: Understanding software by learning
from example behaviors.
Automated Software Engineering, 2:107-129, 1995.
A method for program understanding that does not rely on
parse-and-recognize techniques (as advocated in, for example, [Rich and Waters1990])
is presented. After the code has been annotated the system is run on a number
of representative test cases, generating from the annotations examples of the
behaviour. Finally, inductive learning techniques are used to generalize the
examples, thus forming an abstract, general description of the behaviour of
the annotated code.
- Cordy et al.
J.R. Cordy, N.L. Eliot, and M.G. Robertson.
Turingtool: A user interface to aid in the software maintenance task.
IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, 16(3):294-301,
In this paper the approach of viewing a program in a
structured way is advocated. With the aid of queries the user can influence
the view of the program and can, therefore, get a better idea of what the
program is doing. Things that are not important for a certain view are
elided, but can be accessed by clicking on them--the elided text becomes
visual. The program can also be edited with this tool.
Reverse engineering of control structure diagrams.
In [Waters and Chikofsky1993], pages 107-116, 1993.
Describes a tool for the automatic generation of a new
graphical representation for Ada software (Control Structure Diagrams). These
diagrams aim at improving the comprehension of Ada programs and can
potentially replace the original source code.
- Cutillo et al.
F. Cutillo, P. Fiore, and G. Visaggio.
Identification and extraction of ``domain independent'' components in
In [Waters and Chikofsky1993], pages 83-92, 1993.
Uses program slicing to extract components from COBOL programs
by means of Viasoft's tools INSIGHT, SMARTDOC and RENAISSANCE.
- Devanbu et al.
P. Devanbu, R.J. Bachman, P.G. Selfridge, and B.W. Ballard.
LaSSIE: A knowledge-based software information system.
Communications of the ACM, 34(5):35-49, 1991.
A system called LaSSIE (Large Software System Information
Environment) is presented. It incorporates a large knowledge base, a semantic
retrieval algorithm based on formal inference, and a powerful user interface
incorporating a graphical browser and a natural language parser. The system
is intended to help programmers find useful information about large software
- Edwards and Munro1993
H. Edwards and M. Munro.
RECAST: reverse engineering from COBOL to SSADM specifications.
In [Waters and Chikofsky1993], pages 44-53, 1993.
Describes methodology and tooling for the extraction of SSADM
diagrams from COBOL programs.
- Freeman and Layzell1994
M.J. Freeman and P.J. Layzell.
A meta-model of information systems to support reverse engineering.
Information and Software Technology, 36(5):283-294, 1994.
A method is discussed to help software maintainers to gain a
richer understanding of a software system and its components. This is
achieved by enhancing traditional reverse-engineering tools and prevents the
loss of knowledge during forward engineering.
- Gallagher and Lyle1991
K. Gallagher and J. Lyle.
Using program slicing in software maintenance.
IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, 17(8):751-761,
In this paper the technique of program slicing is used to
facilitate maintenance of software systems by extending the notion of program
slice to a so-called decomposition slice (a slice that captures all
computation on a given variable).
A reuse-oriented approach for structuring and configuring distributed
Software Engineering Journal, 8(2):61-71, 1993.
For the design of configurable distributed applications it is
advocated to develop reusable specifications and architectures. Then targets
can be generated by tailoring the reusable specifications and architectures.
The method is elucidated by way of an example.
- Gray et al.1995
R. Gray, T. Bickmore, and S. Williams.
Reengineering cobol systems to ada.
Technical report, InVision Software Reengineering, Software
Technology Center, Lockheed Palo Alto Laboratories, 1995.
This paper describes the reengineering of 50,000 lines of
Cobol code and the translation to Ada. The goal was to do it as automatically
as possible. An inferential method was used to obtain all needed information
from the Cobol code itself, no external information from users or programmers
was needed. The authors claim that inferential methods will be the basis of
the reengineering technology of the 21th century.
- Gupta et al.
R. Gupta, M. Harrold, and M. Soffa.
An approach to regression testing using slicing.
In [Kellner1992], pages 299-308, 1992.
A new approach to data flow based regression testing is
described that uses program slicing algorithms to detect definition-use pairs
that are affected by a program change. The advantage of this approach is that
neither the data flow history nor a recomputation of data flow is necessary.
- Hainaut et al.
J.-L. Hainaut, M. Chandelon, C. Tonneau, and M. Joris.
Contribution to a theory of database reverse engineering.
In [Waters and Chikofsky1993], pages 161-170, 1993.
Gives a methodology for recovering the conceptual schema of
databases. Illustrated with various COBOL examples.
Overview of reverse engineering and reuse research.
Information and Software Technology, 34(4):239-249, April
It is argued in this paper that reuse of steps taken in
forward engineering--such as ideas, prototypes, temporary solutions,
etc--should be stored somehow so that new systems do not need to be
developed from scratch. This is indeed useful when a system that is developed
while saving such information needs reverse engineering but for legacy
systems this is too late.
Automatic extraction of executable program subsets by simultaneous
dynamic program slicing.
Automated Software Engineering, 2:33-53, 1995.
An algorithm to automatically extract a correctly functioning
subset of the code of a system is presented. The technique is based on
computing a simultaneous dynamic program slice of the code for a set of
representative inputs. Experiments show that the algorithm produces
significantly smaller subsets than with existing methods.
- Harandi and Ning1990
M.T. Harandi and J.Q. Ning.
Knowledge-based program analysis.
IEEE Software, 7(1):74-81, 1990.
Automatic program analysis with a tool called PAT is used to
understand programs on a high level. The applications are maintenance for
large complex programs.
- Hartmann and Robson1990
J. Hartmann and D.J. Robson.
Techniques for selective revalidation.
IEEE Software, 7(1):31-36, 1990.
A systematic and automated approach is discussed to
effectively revalidate modified software while minimizing the time and cost
involved in maintenance testing.
- Hausler et al.
P.A. Hausler, M.G. Pleszkoch, R.C. Linger, and A.R. Hevner.
Using function abstraction to understand program behavior.
IEEE Software, 7(1):55-63, 1990.
In this paper it is avocated to improve the understanding of
programs by structuring them. The authors think that the potential exists for
an automated tool to take unstructured code and derive its functionality.
Experience with the accuracy of software maintenance task effort
IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, 21(8):674-681,
Eleven software maintenance effort prediction models are
Flow analysis of computer programs.
Elsevier North-Holland, 1977.
A classical book on the theory and implementation of
algorithms for data flow analysis.
- Horwitz et al.
S. Horwitz, T. Reps, and J. Prins.
Integrating non-interfering versions of programs.
ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems,
In this paper the program-integration problem is formalized.
An algorithm is given that produces an intergrated program from two
variations of a base program. The algorithm is semantics-based rather than
text-based. The algorithm assumes a programming language containing only
simple programming constructs, like assignment statements, conditional
statements, and iterative statements.
- Howden and Pak1992
W. Howden and S. Pak.
Problem domain, structural and logical abstractions in reverse
In [Kellner1992], pages 214-224, 1992.
Introduces a formal notation for documenting various aspects
of existing software. Has been applied, manually, to sample COBOL programs.
- Hutchens and Basili1985
D. Hutchens and V. Basili.
System structure analysis: clustering with data bindings.
IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering,
The use of cluster analysis as a tool for system
modularization is examined. It appears that the clustering of data bindings
provides a meaningful view of system modularization.
- Johnson and Soloway1985
W. Johnson and E. Soloway.
PROUST: knowledge-based program understanding.
IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering,
This paper describes a tool to help novice programmers to
learn how to program. It is based on a knowledge base and has also a tutoring
aspect. The tool is not intended for large scale program understanding but
the ideas underlying this paper may very well be applicable to it.
- Johnson et al.
B. Johnson, S. Ornburn, and S. Rugaber.
A quick tools approach to program analysis and software maintenance.
In [Kellner1992], 1992.
Describes the use of standard Unix tools like (Awk, Lex, Yacc)
for extracting information from PL/M code. The information is then visualized
using a commercial CASE tool (Software Through Pictures).
- Keller et al.
R.K. Keller, X. Shen, R. Lajoie, M. Ozkan, and T. Tao.
Environment support for business reengineering: the Macrotec
Software--Concepts and Tools, 16(1):31-40, 1995.
A business reengineering approach is developed based on the
formalism of coloured Petri-nets. The Macrotec environment has been
engineered for the support and validation of this approach. Macrotec is based
on Macronets, the latter being a variation of the Petri net formalism.
M. Kellner, editor.
Proceedings Conference on Software Maintenance. IEEE Computer
Society Press, 1992.
Several papers in these proceedings that are directly related
to reverse engineering are discussed separately in this bibliography.
- Khajenoori et al.
S. Khajenoori, D.G. Linton, and C.A. Morris.
Enhancing software reusability through effective use of the essential
Information and Software Technology, 36(8):495-501, 1994.
It is advocated to develop new software systems by reusing
design components from existing ones. With the aid of the so-called essential
modelling approach it is possible to determine reusable components.
- Kozaczynski et al.
W. Kozaczynski, J. Ning, and A. Engberts.
Program concept recognition and transformation.
IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, 18(12):1065-1075,
An approach to automated concept recognition and its
application to maintenance-related program transformations is described. An
interesting point here is that transformation of code can be expressed as
transformation of abstract concepts.
- Kung et al.
C. Kung, JH. Gao, P. Hsia, J. Lin, and Y. Toyoshima.
Design recovery for software testing of object-oriented programs.
In [Waters and Chikofsky1993], pages 202-211, 1993.
Describes a methodology for testing OO software.
- Lano and Haughton1993
K. Lano and H. Haughton.
Integrating formal and structured methods in reverse engineering.
In [Waters and Chikofsky1993], pages 17-26, 1993.
Describes the integration of formal (Z++) and structured
(SSADM) methods in reverse engineering as prototyped in the REDO project.
- Lano and Haughton1994
K. Lano and H. Haughton.
Reverse Engineering and Software Maintenance -- A Practical
This book describes a fundamental approach to reverse
engineering and software maintenance. After an introduction in software
maintenance and reverse engineering a number of tools and approaches are
discussed to tackle various problems in these areas. An elaborate
introduction in logic and program semantics is given. One method (the process
model) to address maintenance and reverse engineering is discussed in more
detail. The book concludes with a number of case-studies which use a formal
approach based on logic and program semantics.
- Laski and Szemer1992
J. Laski and W. Szemer.
Identification of program modifications and its applications in
In [Kellner1992], pages 282-290, 1992.
One of the problems in software maintenance is the
revalidation of modified code. Such a process should preferably be restricted
only to those parts of the program that are affected by the modifications. In
this paper a formal method is described to identify modifications made in a
- Marlowe and Ryder1990
Marlowe and Ryder.
Properties of data flow frameworks. A unified model.
Acta Informatica, 28:121-163, 1990.
An overview of data flow frameworks and their characterizing
properties is given. Contains many references to the field of data flow
CASE support for collaborative modelling: re-engineering conceptual
modelling techniques to exploit the potential of CASE tools.
Software Engineering Journal, 9(4):183-189, 1994.
It is advocated that more benefit would be obtained if both
analysis and design techniques were reengineered so as to make the best
possible use of CASE tools. Ways on how to achieve this are given in the
paper using examples from a prototype CASE tool.
- Mendelzon and Sametinger1995
A. Mendelzon and J. Sametinger.
Reverse engineering by visualizing and querying.
Software--Concepts and Tools, 16(4):170-182, 1995.
A tool called Hy+ is described that can be used for reverse
engineering. Hy+ is a general-purpose data visualization system for querying
and visualizing information about object-oriented software systems. Hy+
supports this for arbitrary graph-like databases. The use is demonstrated
with the evaluation of software metrics, verifying constraints and
identifying design patterns.
- Merlo et al.
E. Merlo, J. Girard, K. Kontogiannis, P. Panangaden, and R. De Mori.
Reverse engineering of user interfaces.
In [Waters and Chikofsky1993], pages 171-179, 1993.
Extracts user interface descriptions from COBOL/CICS source
code and translates them to abstract behaviour descriptions based on process
algebra (CCS). Part of the analysis is done using Refine/COBOL. The
translation itself is done manually.
- Mii and Takeshita1993
N. Mii and T. Takeshita.
Software re-engineering and reuse from a
Japanese point of view.
Information and Software Technology, 35(1):45-53, 1993.
The use of the concept of reusable pieces of software as parts in the
Japanese situation is reviewed. It is more geared towards
preventive forward engineering than to reverse engineering.
- Miller and Straus III1987
J. Miller and B. Straus III.
Implications of automatic restructuring cobol.
ACM Sigplan Notices, 22(6):76-82, 1987.
The question whether or not mechanical transformations of
unstructured program code to a structured equivalent can provide an
improvement in the understanding of that program is addressed. As an example
the language COBOL is examined. The paper also discusses a tool (called
Structured Retrofit) that performs such transformations for COBOL
- Newcomb and Markosian1993
Ph. Newcomb and L. Markosian.
Automating the modularization of large COBOL programs: application
of an enabling technology for reengineering.
In [Waters and Chikofsky1993], pages 222-230, 1993.
Experience report using the Software Refinery to build a
modularization tool for COBOL.
- Ning et al.1993
J. Ning, A. Engberts, and W. Kozaczynski.
Recovering reusable components from legacy systems.
In [Waters and Chikofsky1993], pages 64-72, 1993.
Gives an overview of the program segmentation facilities of
the COBOL/SRE system, which are based on various forms of program slicing.
- Olshefski and Cole1993
D. Olshefski and A. Cole.
A prototype system for static and dynamic program understanding.
In [Waters and Chikofsky1993], pages 93-106, 1993.
Describes the experimental PUNDIT system that combines static
and dynamic information for program understanding. It comprises a static
analyzer for C source code and a, mostly language-independent, graphical user
interface. Gives various examples of program views.
- Oman and Cook1990
P.W. Oman and C.R. Cook.
The book paradigm for improved maintenance.
IEEE Software, 7(1):39-45, 1990.
It is shown that traditional typographical formats used in
books work very well to aid program understanding.
- Ornburn and Rugaber1992
S. Ornburn and S. Rugaber.
Reverse engineering: resolving conflicts between expected and actual
In [Kellner1992], pages 32-40, 1992.
Experience report describing the application of the
Synchronized Refinement method [Rugaber et al.
1990] to a real-time embedded system.
- Osborne and Chikofsky1990
W. Osborne and E. Chikofsky, editors.
Special issue on Maintenance, reverse engineering and design
IEEE Software, 7(1):11-105. 1990.
In this special issue a number of papers dealing with various
aspects of reverse engineering are collected. Most of the individual papers
are discussed in this annotated bibliography.
Unraveling unstructured programs.
The Computer Journal, 25(3):379-387, 1982.
A method for transforming unstructured program flowcharts into
structured ones is presented. The form of the derived structured programs is
such that the original unstructured programs can be easily recovered, thus
revealing what overheads in space and time are inherent in the structured
- Paul and Prakash1994a
S. Paul and A. Prakash.
A framework for source code search using program patterns.
IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, 20(6):463-475,
It is argued that existing solutions to locating source code
fragments that match certain patterns are insufficient. A framework in which
pattern languages are used to specify interesting code features is presented.
These are obtained by extending the source programming language with
pattern-matching symbols. This is implemented in a tool called SCRUPLE.
- Paul and Prakash1994b
S. Paul and A. Prakash.
Supporting queries on source code: A formal framework.
International Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge
Engineering, 4(3):325-348, 1994.
A source code query system is a powerful mechanism to obtain
crucial information necessary to successfully performing a reverse
engineering task. A source code algebra (SCA) is developed which is strongly
based on relational algebras as well as on many sorted algebras. Two types of
data types are distinguished in the source code algebra model:
The objects are
extended with four kinds of attributes, namely, components, references,
annotations, and methods. An extensive set of source code algebra operators
are defined, such operators defined for atomic data types, individual
objects, and collections, i.e., sets and sequences. The operators for the
collections are strongly influenced by the operators from the relational
- atomic data types, such as integer, float, etc.
composite data types (so-called objects):
objects, such as while-statement, identifier, etc.
- collective objects,
such as statement-list, etc.
- Pickard and Carter1995
M.M. Pickard and B.D. Carter.
A field study of the relationship of information flow and
maintainability of cobol programs.
Information and Software Technology, 37(4):195-202, 1995.
The results of a field study of the relationship of
information flow to the maintainability of COBOL modules in a data processing
environment are presented. There is a significant correlation between
maintainability and information flow and with (information flow) metrics it
is possible to identify poorly maintained modules.
- Pleszkoch et al.
M. Pleszkoch, R. Linger, and A. Hevner.
Eliminating non-traversable paths from structured programs.
In [Kellner1992], pages 156-164, 1992.
Considers the problem of control variables (i.e., ranging over
the Booleans or some small enumeration type) that obscure the structure of
otherwise structured programs. Control flow is represented by regular
expressions which are further processed (subset construction) to find a
version of the program without redundant control paths.
- Premerlani and Blaha1993
W. Premerlani and M. Blaha.
An approach for reverse engineering of relational databases.
In [Waters and Chikofsky1993], pages 151-160, 1993.
Experience report describing the reverse engineering of
several relational databases to OMT (Object Modeling Technique) diagrams. The
process is partly automated using a variety of tools.
A hybrid approach to recognizing programming plans.
In [Waters and Chikofsky1993], pages 126-133, 1993.
Based on an experiment regarding human understanding of a
given C program, a new organization for a plan library is presented. It
consists of a plan definition, a plan recognition rule, and specialized
constraints. Extends the plan library developed by Andersen Consulting.
Eliminating goto's while preserving program structure.
Journal of the ACM, 35(4):893-920, 1988.
A method is described to eliminate GO-TO statements from a
program while the program's original structure is being preserved.
On reverse engineering.
IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics,
This paper is a tutorial on reverse engineering that defines
some key notions.
- Reubenstein et al.
H. Reubenstein, R. Piazza, and S. Roberts.
Separating parsing and analysis in reverse engineering tools.
In [Waters and Chikofsky1993], pages 117-125, 1993.
Experience report describing the extension of an existing
analysis tool with a new syntactic front-end. Concludes that
language-independence as well separation of parsing and analysis are
essential for extensibility.
- Rich and Waters1990
C. Rich and R.C. Waters.
The Programmer's Apprentice.
This book, named after the project it reports on, is intended
both to serve as an example of a general method to the builders of many and
diverse computer-aided design tools and to study how software is analyzed,
modified, verified, and documented with the goal to automate such typically
software engineering tasks. A demonstration system has been completed within
the Programmer's Apprentice project that illustrates most of the key
capabilities of it, albeit that this system is restricted to the task of
- Rich and Wills1990
C. Rich and L.M. Wills.
Recognizing a program's design: A graph-parsing approach.
IEEE Software, 7(1):82-89, 1990.
In this paper it is assumed that most programmers use similar
structures to program. Such so-called cliches can be recognized automatically
and can then be used to generate the documentation of the program.
- Ritsch and Sneed1993
H. Ritsch and H. Sneed.
Reverse engineering programs via dynamic analysis.
In [Waters and Chikofsky1993], pages 192-201, 1993.
Describes a dynamic analysis of COBOL programs. By inspection
of transaction files assertions are generated capturing the input and output
requirements of each database operation.
- Rugaber and Clayton1993
S. Rugaber and R. Clayton.
The representation problem in reverse engineering.
In [Waters and Chikofsky1993], pages 8-16, 1993.
Choosing the proper representation to build models describing
software entities during reverse engineering is the representation
problem. This paper examines the representation problem by presenting a
taxonomy of models and representations.
- Rugaber et al.
S. Rugaber, S.B. Ornburn, and R.J. LeBlanc.
Recognizing design decisions in programs.
IEEE Software, 7(1):46-54, 1990.
In this paper it is advocated that in order to effectively
maintain an existing system, the maintenance programmer must be able to
sustain decisions made earlier in the design process. To accomplish this,
she/he must be able to recognize and understand this decisions. A way is
given to characterize such decisions.
Reverse-engineering someone else's software: is it legal?
IEEE Software, 7(1):90-96, 1990.
The legal issues concerning reverse engineering are discussed:
does reverse engineering software infringe intellectual-property law?.
Introduction to the special section on software maintenance.
IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, SE-13(3):301,
This preface introduces a special section on software
The state of software maintenance.
IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering,
An overview of the state of the art in software maintenance
and criticizes the apparent disinterest in the research field is provided.
- Selfridge et al.
P. Selfridge, R. Waters, and E. Chikofsky.
Challenges for the field of reverse engineering.
In [Waters and Chikofsky1993], pages 144-150, 1993.
This position paper presents ten challenges for improvement of
reverse engineering research in three areas: (a) avoiding artificial data;
(b) focusing on concrete economic and technical impact; and (c) facilitating
researcher communication by establishing standard terminology and selecting
standard data sets.
Migration of procedurally oriented COBOL programs in an
In [Kellner1992], pages 105-116, 1992.
The subject of this paper is to describe the migration of
procedurally structured COBOL into functionally equivalent object-oriented
programs. Their major differences are described together with an approach to
bridge the gap between the two.
Software Maintenance/Re-engineering and Reuse.
Kyoritsu Shuppan, Tokyo, 1992.
- Tan and Ling1995
H.B.T. Tan and T.W. Ling.
Recovery of object-oriented design from existing data-intensive
Information and Software Technology, 37(2):67-77, 1995.
A method is given for the recovery of a specification from an
existing data-intensive business program using an augmented model that is
proposed in the paper.
- Tangorra and Chiarolla1995
F. Tangorra and D. Chiarolla.
A methodology for reverse engineering hierarchical databases.
Information and Software Technology, 37(4):225-231, 1995.
The steps of a reverse engineering process for translating a
hierarchical data scheme into a conceptual description in the extended
entity-relationship model are described. Contains a case study.
- Tilley et al.
S.R. Tilley, K. Wong, M-A.D. Storey, and H.A. Müller.
Programmable reverse engineering.
International Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge
Engineering, 4(4):501-520, 1994.
This paper argues that most reverse engineering environments
are not flexible enough. They are directed towards the tool builders instead
of the users of the environments. Besides a number of basic facilities, such
as parsing, the reverse engineering tool should allow a high level of
extensibility. The authors present an existing scripting language, Tcl, to
enable users to develop their own routines for graph layout, metrics and
analysis. Most generic reverse engineering environments break down if they
have to deal with millions of lines of code. The constructed abstract syntax
trees contain too much information. The reverse engineering environment
should allow a flexible gathering of information, not only based on abstract
syntax trees. The way the information is gathered should be programmable. The
reverse engineering environments should be reusable in various application
domains. The user of the environment should be able to program the the
environment to make it suited for a specific application domain.
A survey of program slicing techniques.
Journal of programming languages, 3:121-189, 1995.
Surveys the state-of-the-art in program slicing and gives many
references to the literature.
The automatic restructuring of programs.
IBM Journal of Research and Development, 19:181-194, 1975.
A method is described that allows the translation of an
unstructured program into a set of top-down structured, semantically founded,
go-to-free modules. This method leads to a certain amount of code
J.C. van Vliet.
Automatische design recovery: een illusie?
Informatie, 35(6):384-389, 1993.
(In Dutch.) The definition of reverse engineering by Chikofski
and Cross [Chikofsky and Cross1990] is used to explain some reverse engineering
terminology. The author demonstrates by some examples that domain specific
knowledge is essential for successful design recovery. It is therefore
essential that tools for design recovery contain a model of the application
domain, in which concepts of the underlying domain with their relations and
dependencies are modeled. It is not possible to have automatic design
recovery because the concepts of the application domain can only be described
by means of informal semantics.
- Vogt and Hendriks1994
H.H. Vogt and P.R.H. Hendriks.
Code-analyse in de praktijk.
Informatie, 36(12):764-770, 1994.
(In Dutch.) Describes the RECALL-project aiming at the
analysis of the complex software of telephone exchanges to identify the
components and the interaction between these components. The RECALL reverse
engineering prototype tool consists of a code browser and a CHILL parser, and
it offers the following functionality: (a) holophrasting; (b) call graph
view; (c) call sequence view; (d) all calls of a procedure view; and (e) jump
- Ward and Bennett1993
M. Ward and K. Bennett.
A practical program transformation system for reverse engineering.
In [Waters and Chikofsky1993], pages 212-221, 1993.
Uses program transformation techniques as a basis for reverse
engineering. Source files are first translated into WSL (wide-spectrum
language). By means of a large collection of WSL transformation and user
guidance, the WSL program is simplified. Next it can be translated back into
the original source language or into the specification language Z. The
process is supported by the ReForm tool which contains parsers for IBM
assembly language and for a Basic subset. Also see [Bennet et al.
- Waters and Chikofsky1993
R.C. Waters and E.J. Chikofsky, editors.
Proceedings of Working Conference on Reverse Engineering.
IEEE Computer Society Press, 1993.
All papers in these proceedings are discussed separately in
Program translation via abstraction and reimplementation.
IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, 14(8), 1988.
The translation paradigm of abstraction and reimplementation,
which is one of the goals of the Programmer's Apprentice project
[Rich and Waters1990] is presented. A translator has been constructed which
translates Cobol programs into Hibol (a very high level, business data
IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, 10(4):352-357,
In this paper some properties of slices are presented. It is
shown that the use of data-flow analysis is sufficient to find approximate
slices of the generally unsolvable problem of finding statement-minimal
- Whittle and Ratcliffe1993
B. Whittle and M. Ratcliffe.
Software component interface description for reuse.
Software Engineering Journal, 8(6):307-318, 1993.
The development of a language CIDER, which stands for
Component Interface Descriptor is described. It is an object-oriented
language in which it is feasible to integrate and reuse component interfaces
based on a model of the reusable software component.
- Wilde and Huitt1991
N. Wilde and R. Huitt.
A reusable toolset for software dependency analysis.
Journal of Systems and Software, 14(2):97-102, 1991.
A general purpose tool set that has been developed to capture
and analyse software dependencies is described. A prototype of this so-called
dependency analysis tool set has been implemented to analyze C code.
- Wilde et al.
N. Wilde, J. Gomez, T. Gust, and D. Strasburg.
Locating user functionality in old code.
In [Kellner1992], pages 200-205, 1992.
Proposes a probabilistic technique to match expected
functionality with the actual functions as implemented in existing code. An
experiment reveals that the method works reasonable but cannot replace human
- Williams and Ossher1978
M. Williams and H. Ossher.
Conversion of unstructured flow diagrams into structured form.
The Computer Journal, 21(2):161-167, 1978.
Various already proposed methods to convert unstructured flow
diagrams into equivalent structured ones are discussed. Moreover a general
method for performing such conversions is discussed.
Flexible control for program recognition.
In [Waters and Chikofsky1993], pages 134-143, 1993.
Uses chart parsing (a graph-based parsing technique) for
recognizing program plans. The GRASPR tool implements this technique and can
be applied to Common Lisp programs (less than 1000 lines).
Error density and size in Ada software.
IEEE Software, 7(1):26-30, 1990.
In this paper we can find an empirical study of the relation
between error density and the length of an Ada module. The results show that
there is an optimal length and that shorter modules and larger ones contain
more errors. For reverse engineering such metrics can give an indication for
the status of the software.
H. van Zuylen, editor.
The ReDo compendium: reverse engineering for software
Gives an overview of the results of the REDO project and covers
most aspects of reverse engineering. Various approaches are discussed: (a)
compilation of COBOL programs to equational specifications, restructuring and
simplification of these specifications, and regeneration of COBOL code from
them; (b) compilation of COBOL to UNIFORM, an intermediate language
supporting all features of both COBOL and JCL; (c) compilation of COBOL to
COBOL-IF, a simplified syntactic representation of COBOL programs; (d)
abstraction of the meaning of COBOL code in the form of Z++ specifications.
Various experimental tools providing partial support for the above techniques
are discussed. The results described in this book should be considered as
useful experiments. Since the techniques have not been applied to a number of
large scale projects the method does not yet constitute a mature reverse
Thu Jul 25 18:06:53 MET DST 1996