Specification extraction by symbolic execution

Authors Josef Pichler
Editors R. Lämmel
R. Oliveto
R. Robbes
Title Specification extraction by symbolic execution
Booktitle Proceedings of the 20th Working Conference on Reverse Engineering (WCRE 2013)
Type in proceedings
ISBN 978-1-4799-2930-6
Month October
Year 2013
Pages 462-466
SCCH ID# 1336

Technical software
systems contain extensive and complex computations that are frequently
implemented in an optimized and unstructured way. Computations are, therefore,
hard to comprehend from source code. If no other documentation exists, it is a
tedious endeavor to understand which input data impact on a particular
computation and how a program does achieves a particular result. We apply
symbolic execution to automatically extract computations from source code. Symbolic
execution makes it possible to identify input and output data, the actual
computation as well as constraints of a particular computation, independently
of encountered optimizations and unstructured program elements. The proposed
technique may be used to improve maintenance and reengineering activities
concerning legacy code in scientific and engineering do-mains.