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Hypothesis-based concept assignment in software maintenance

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2 Author(s)
Gold, N. ; Dept. of Comput., Manchester Univ., UK ; Bennett, K.

Software maintenance accounts for a significant proportion of the lifetime cost of a software system. Software comprehension is required in many parts of the maintenance process and is one of the most expensive activities. Many tools have been developed to help the maintainer reduce the time and cost of this task, but of the numerous tools and methods available one group has received relatively little attention: those using plausible reasoning to address the concept assignment problem. We present a concept assignment method for COBOL II: hypothesis-based concept assignment (HB-CA). An implementation of a prototype tool is described, and results from a comprehensive evaluation using commercial COBOL II sources are summarised. In particular, we identify areas of a standard maintenance process where such methods would be appropriate, and discuss the potential cost savings that may result

Published in:

Software, IEE Proceedings -  (Volume:149 ,  Issue: 4 )