Amorphous procedure extraction

  • Harman M
  • Binkley D
  • Singh R
 et al. 
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The procedure extraction problem is concerned with the meaning preserving formation of a procedure from a (not necessarily contiguous) selected set of statements. Previous approaches to the problem have used dependence analysis to identify the non-selected statements which must be 'promoted' (also selected) in order to preserve semantics. All previous approaches to the problem have been syntax preserving. This work shows that by allowing transformation of the program's syntax it is possible to extract both procedures and functions in an amorphous manner. That is, although the amorphous extraction process is meaning preserving it is not necessarily syntax preserving. The amorphous approach is advantageous in a variety of situations. These include when it is desirable to avoid promotion, when a value-returning function is to be extracted from a scattered set of assignments to a variable, and when side effects are present in the program from which the procedure is to be extracted.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Program Slicing
  • Program Transformation
  • Variable Dependence Analysis

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