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A differencing algorithm for object-oriented programs

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3 Author(s)
T. Apiwattanapong ; Georgia Inst. of Technol., Atlanta, GA, USA ; A. Orso ; M. J. Harrold

During software evolution, information about changes between different versions of a program is useful for a number of software engineering tasks. For many of these tasks, a purely syntactic differencing may not provide enough information for the task to be performed effectively. This problem is especially relevant in the case of object-oriented software, for which a syntactic change can have subtle and unforeseen effects. We present a technique for comparing object-oriented programs that identifies both differences and correspondences between two versions of a program. The technique is based on a representation that handles object-oriented features and, thus, can capture the behavior of object-oriented programs. We also present JDIFF, a tool that implements the technique for Java programs, and empirical results that show the efficiency and effectiveness of the technique on a real program.

Published in:

Automated Software Engineering, 2004. Proceedings. 19th International Conference on

Date of Conference:

20-24 Sept. 2004