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Durham University

Computer Science


Publication details for Professor Malcolm Munro

Burd, E.L. & Munro, M. (2000). Supporting program comprehension using dominance trees. Annals of Software Engineering 9(1-2): 193-213.

Author(s) from Durham


This paper will address how program comprehension can be aided within software maintenance through the use of high level representations of code, specifically the use of dominance trees. The paper proposes that dominance trees should be used as a standard approach within the program comprehension process. A number of ways in which the dominance trees are supportive of the comprehension process are highlighted. The evaluation considers if dominance trees are supportive of standard program comprehension strategies such as an as‐needed strategy, whether they provide an early identification of the consequences of changes and highlight areas where preventative maintenance is necessary. Their actual usefulness in achieving these goals is evaluated through the use of a number of case studies. The results have shown that there are a number of specific tasks performed during program comprehension that can be aided through the use of dominance trees.