Static Execute After/Before as a Replacement of Traditional Software Dependencies

Judit Jász, Árpád Beszédes, Tibor Gyimóthy and Václav Rajlich
The paper explores Static Execute After (SEA) dependencies in the program and their dual Static Execute Before (SEB) dependencies. It empirically compares the SEA/SEB dependencies with the traditional dependencies that are computed by System Dependence Graph (SDG) and program slicers. In our case study we use about 30 subject programs that were previously used by other authors in empirical studies of program analysis. We report two main results. The computation of SEA/SEB is much less expensive and much more scalable than the computation of the SDG. At the same time, the precision declines only very slightly, by some 4% on average. In other words, the precision is comparable to that of the leading traditional algorithms, while intuitively a much larger difference would be expected. The paper then discusses whether based on these results the computation of the SDG should be replaced in some applications by the computation of the SEA/SEB.

Source code analysis, program dependencies, System Dependence Graph, program slicing, Static Execute After.