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While the rapid and growing diffusion of rich Internet applications (RIAs) with their enhanced interactive, responsive and dynamic behaviour is sharpening the distance between Web applications and desktop applications, at the same time, the maintenance community is experiencing the need for effective analysis approaches for understanding and modelling this behaviour adequately. This paper presents a reverse engineering technique based on dynamic analysis and supported by a tool that reconstructs a model of the RIA behaviour based on finite state machines. The technique is based on the analysis of the RIA user interface evolution shown in user sessions, and exploits user interface equivalence criteria for abstracting relevant states and state transitions to be included in the model. For assessing the effectiveness and the cost of this technique, an experiment involving four distinct RIAs implemented with AJAX technique was carried out.
Date of Conference: 20-26 Sept. 2009