A New Model of Program Dependences for Reverse Engineering

Authors: Daniel Jackson and Eugene J. Rollins

Appeared in Proc. ACM Conf. on Foundations of Software Engineering, December 1994.

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A dependence model for reverse engineering should treat procedures in a modular fashion and should be fine-grained, distinguishing dependences that are due to different variables. The program dependence graph (PDG) satisfies neither of these criteria. We present a new form of dependence graph that satisfies both, while retaining the advantages of the PDG: it is easy to construct and allows program slicing to be implemented as a simple graph traversal. We define 'chopping', a generalization of slicing that can express most of its variants, and show that, using our dependence graph, it produces more accurate results than algorithms based directly on the PDG.


Reverse engineering, modularity, specifications, program slicing, dataflow dependence, program dependence graph.