Beyond traditional program slicing

Anthony M. Sloane, Jason Holdsworth

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution

23 Citations (Scopus)


Traditional program slices are based on variables and statements. Slices consist of statements that potentially affect (or are affected by) the value of a particular variable at a given statement. Two assumptions are implicit in this definition: 1) that variables and statements are concepts of the programming language in which the program is written, and 2) that slices consist solely of statements. Generalised slicing is an extension of traditional slicing where variables are replaced by arbitrary named program entities and statements by arbitrary program constructs. A model of generalised slicing is presented that allows the essence of any slicing tool to be reduced to a node marking process operating on a program syntax tree. Slicing tools can thus be implemented in a straight-forward way using tree-based techniques such as attribute grammars.A variety of useful program decompositions are shown to be instances of generalised slicing including: call graph generation, interface extraction, slicing of object-oriented inheritance hierarchies and slices based on type dependences. Examples are also given of how slicing can enhance understanding of formal compiler specifications and aid the creation of subset language specifications.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 1996 ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)0897917871
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameISSTA '96

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    Sloane, A. M., & Holdsworth, J. (1996). Beyond traditional program slicing. In Proceedings of the 1996 ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis (pp. 180-186). (ISSTA '96). New York, NY, USA: ACM.