ISR Colloquium Speaker

Ira D. Baxter

Cheif Technology Officer
“Improving Software Quality with Airomated Program Tranformation Tools”
Tuesday, October 31, 2000 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
ICS2 136

No cost to attend.


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Program Transformation tools can be used to reliably automate the analysis or modification an existing program, or generate a new  one.  These tools have an extremely wide range of application, but have generally been available only in research contexts, and worked only on toy languages. The purpose of this talk is to sketch the idea of program transformations, and show several different methods by which anindustrial-strength transformation system can be used to improve software system quality. By industrial strength, we mean tools that can handle millions of lines of code, and operate on today's languages: C++, Java, XML.

As examples of possible software quality improvements,  we will brieflydiscuss:

  • pretty-printing obfuscated source programs,
  • removal of selected preprocessor conditionals from C sources,
  • automating test coverage for any programming language or dialect,
  • re-factoring large object-oriented (Java) programs to improve class structures
  • generation of high performance XML parsers
  • detection/removal of near-duplicate ("clone") code from large sources using SD's Design Maintenance System ( for examples.

The talk will provide sufficient background on the transformation technology will clearly understand how such tools achieve the desired effects. On completion, the attendee should have sufficient background to judge the utility of program transformations for software quality improvement (talk given previously to Austin Software Process Improvement Network).