GRACE: Automated Slicing for Visual Basic

J. Korpi and J. Koskinen (Finland)


Automated software engineering, software maintenance, program slicing, Visual Basic, program dependence graphs (PDGs), static program analysis.


Software engineers and maintainers constantly need to understand legacy programs while correcting errors and making safe modifications. For example, applications programmed in Visual Basic often need to be rewritten to meet modern requirements. Program slicing is a technique which supports well these needs. However, there were no earlier slicers for Visual Basic. Therefore, we have studied the feasibility of slicing Visual Basic. This paper represents a program slicer called GRACE for Visual Basic. GRACE is implemented in C++ and GCC. It contains a parser, fully supporting Visual Basic and other components needed to enable slicing. Its slicing capabilities are based on program dependence graphs (PDGs). Use of PDGs is elegant and helps to keep the implementation simple and slicing efficiency sufficient. The current implementation of GRACE supports static backward slicing. The implementation validates the feasibility of the PDG-based slicing approach in this context. GRACE is also compared to other slicing tools.

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