Signature Matching: A Key to Reuse

Authors: Amy Moormann Zaremski and Jeannette M. Wing

Appears in Proceedings of SIGSOFT '93, December 1993.

The full text of this paper is here (in PostScript).


Software reuse is only effective if it is easier to locate (and appropriately modify) a reusable component than to write it from scratch. We present signature matching as a method for achieving this goal by using signature information easily derived from the component. We consider two kinds of software components, functions and modules, and hence two kinds of matching, function matching and module matching. The signature of a function is simply its type; the signature of a module is a multiset of user-defined types and a multiset of function signatures. For both functions and modules, we consider not just exact match, but also various flavors of relaxed match. We briefly describe an experimental facility written in Standard ML for performing signature matching over a library of ML functions.
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