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Title: A trajectory-based strict semantics for program slicing
Authors: Barraclough, RW
Binkley, D
Danicic, S
Harman, M
Hierons, RM
Kiss, A
Laurence, MR
Ouarbya, L
Keywords: Program slicing;Program semantics;Non-termination;Program dependence
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Theoretical Computer Science, 411(11–13):, 1372–1386, Mar 2010
Abstract: We define a program semantics that is preserved by dependence-based slicing algorithms. It is a natural extension, to non-terminating programs, of the semantics introduced by Weiser (which only considered terminating ones) and, as such, is an accurate characterisation of the semantic relationship between a program and the slice produced by these algorithms. Unlike other approaches, apart from Weiser’s original one, it is based on strict standard semantics which models the ‘normal’ execution of programs on a von Neumann machine and, thus, has the advantage of being intuitive. This is essential since one of the main applications of slicing is program comprehension. Although our semantics handles non-termination, it is defined wholly in terms of finite trajectories, without having to resort to complex, counter-intuitive, non-standard models of computation. As well as being simpler, unlike other approaches to this problem, our semantics is substitutive. Substitutivity is an important property because it greatly enhances the ability to reason about correctness of meaning-preserving program transformations such as slicing.
ISSN: 0304-3975
Appears in Collections:Computer Science
Dept of Computer Science Research Papers
Software Engineering (B-SERC)

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