Maintaining Traceability Links between Implementation-Level Restrictions and Source Code for Program Understanding

M. Ohba and K. Gondow (Japan)


Implementation-level Restriction (IR), concept keyword, program understanding, code analysis, documentation, software engineering


During software development certain laws, standards, specifications etc. can, or must, be followed. We refer to these restrictions as Implementation-level Restrictions (IR) due to their influence on the implementation. Program understanding is often complicated by having to discover links between source code and IR at a later time. In this pa per, we present ADIOS, a novel technique for efficiently maintaining traceability links between source code frag ments and IR. Maintaining these links is complicated by the fact that: (1) Links are tangled, numerous and fine-grained. One IR may link to several code fragments and vice versa. (2) Extracting links automatically is difficult. In order to overcome these difficulties we propose: (a) concept key words which categorize IR and ease program understand ing. (b) a source code annotation format enabling the link ing of code fragments with relevant concept keywords and IR. We applied ADIOS to our educational OS udos (5500 lines of code), producing promising results; the codebase was processed in 1.59 seconds with a recall and precision of around 89.0% and 50.3%, respectively. These prelim inary results suggest that our approach is both useful for recording traceability links between code and IR and effi cient.

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