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Using program slicing in software maintenance

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2 Author(s)
Gallagher, K.B. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Loyola Coll., Baltimore, MD, USA ; Lyle, J.R.

Program slicing is applied to the software maintenance problem by extending the notion of a program slice (that originally required both a variable and line number) to a decomposition slice, one that captures all computation on a given variable, i.e., is independent of line numbers. Using the lattice of single variable decomposition slices ordered by set inclusion, it is shown how a slice-based decomposition for programs can be formed. One can then delineate the effects of a proposed change by isolating those effects in a single component of the decomposition. This gives maintainers a straightforward technique for determining those statements and variables which may be modified in a component and those which may not. Using the decomposition, a set of principles to prohibit changes which will interfere with unmodified components is provided. These semantically consistent changes can then be merged back into the original program in linear time

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Software Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 8 )