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MS Final Oral Examination – Aarti Chabra


Tuesday, December 13, 2011 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Structured Representation of Composite Software Changes
In a software development cycle, programs go through a number of iterations. Identifying and tracing the changes in programs is necessary for programmers. The existing version-differencing tools, comprising of line-based and abstract syntax tree-based tools, lack a structure for representing these changes. Additionally, the differences in various versions of program are reported as atomic changes, such as, additions, deletions, updates of code lines or abstract syntax tree nodes. Programmers frequently use program restructuring techniques such as refactoring. As a result, the comparison of different versions using the existing version differencing tools yield a large set of atomic changes, which further requires a lot of time and effort to identify and understand the differences. Hence, reporting the program differences as refactorings instead of atomic changes has potential to provide a better explanation of the changes in the program.

This thesis proposes a methodology that infers composite changes from the atomic changes as reported by the version-differencing tools. Although this area has seen a lot of research, it lacks a structured representation for the differences in various versions of programs. The thesis presents different approaches that can be used for structured representation of the differences in programs using a variation representation. The expressions representing the program differences are called variation expressions.

Furthermore, this thesis designs a methodology for composite change inference from the variation expressions. The change inference algorithms are designed using patterns that describe the expected structure of the variation expressions for each composite change. The composite changes inferred in a given variation expression are then annotated in the expression, allowing these changes to be reported as desired.

Major Advisor: Martin Erwig
Committee: Margaret Burnett
Committee: Timothy Budd
GCR: Gary Egbert


Kelley Engineering Center (campus map)
3057
Ferne Simendinger
1 541 737 2889
ferne at eecs.oregonstate.edu
Sch Elect Engr/Comp Sci
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