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RE-Analyzer: From source code to structured analysis

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2 Author(s)
O'Hare, A.B. ; IBM Networking Hardware Division, P.O. Box 12195, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, 27709, USA ; Troan, E.W.

The RE-Analyzer is an automated, reverse engineering system providing a high level of integration with a computer-aided software engineering (CASE) tool. Specifically, legacy code is transformed into abstractions within a structured analysis methodology. The abstractions are based on data flow diagrams, state transition diagrams, and entity-relationship data models. Since the resulting abstractions can be browsed and modified within a CASE tool environment, a broad range of software engineering activities are supported, including program understanding, reengineering, and redocumentation. In addition, diagram complexity is reduced through the application of control partitioning: algorithmic technique for managing complexity by partitioning source code modules into smaller yet semantically coherent units. This approach also preserves the information content of the original source code. It is in contrast to other reverse engineering techniques that produce only structure charts and thus suffer from loss of information, unmanaged complexity, and a lack of correspondence to structured analysis abstractions. The RE-Analyzer has been implemented and currently supports the reverse engineering of software written in the C language. It has been integrated with a CASE tool based on the VIEWS method.

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Systems Journal  (Volume:33 ,  Issue: 1 )