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A Heuristic for Deriving Loop Functions

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2 Author(s)
Douglas D. Dunlop ; Department of Computer Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742.; Intermetrics, Inc., 4733 Bethesda Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814. ; Victor R. Basili

The problem of analyzing an initialized loop and verifying that the program computes some particular function of its inputs is addressed. A heuristic technique for solving these problems is proposed that appears to work well in many commonly occurring cases. The use of the technique is illustrated with a number of applications. An attribute of initialized loops is identified that corresponds to the ``effort'' required to apply this method in a deterministic (i.e., guaranteed to succeed) manner. It is explained that in any case, the success of the proposed heuristic relies on the loop exhibiting a ``reasonable'' form of behavior.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering  (Volume:SE-10 ,  Issue: 3 )