News Column

Patent Issued for Selective Data Flow Analysis of Bounded Regions of Computer Software Applications

September 11, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews journalists, a patent by the inventors Kalman, Daniel (Herzelyia, IL); Pikus, Dmitri (Haifa, IL); Tripp, Omer (Hertzeliya, IL); Weisman, Omri (Herzelyia, IL), filed on March 5, 2012, was published online on August 26, 2014.

The assignee for this patent, patent number 8819644, is International Business Machines Corporation (Armonk, NY).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to computer software analysis and testing.

"The term 'static analysis' as it relates to computer software typically refers to analysis of the instructions of a computer software application that does not rely on the run-time execution of the application. Static analysis of an application is said to be 'sound' if it considers all possible application behavior relevant to the analysis. In one type of static analysis, known as data-flow analysis, a graph is determined of a computer software application's control flows, and information is gathered about the possible values of variables at various points within the application, where the graph is used to determine those parts of the application to which data assigned to a particular variable might flow.

"It is well known that once an application has been statically analyzed, any changes subsequently made to the application instructions may affect the soundness of the analysis results. Thus, for example, if an application instruction is deleted, the soundness of the analysis results may be called into question if any data flows identified during the static analysis depended in any way on the deleted instruction. While reanalyzing an entire application each time changes are made to the application instructions assures continuously sound analysis results, the time and computational requirements of doing so may be great, especially for applications with large code bases."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "In one aspect of the disclosure can perform data flow analysis of a computer software application. In this aspect, for a data flow analysis type, at least one processor executing code can identify within a computer software application code base a plurality of seeds relating to the data flow analysis type. For each of the plurality of seeds, at least one processor executing code can define a portion of the computer software application code base to a predefined depth of calls backward from the seed and to a predefined depth of calls forward from the seed, thereby resulting in a plurality of bounded portions of the computer software application code base. A change in the computer software application code base can be detected. A data flow analysis relating to the data flow analysis type can be performed on any of the bounded portions affected by the change.

"Systems and computer-program products embodying the invention are also provided."

For more information, see this patent: Kalman, Daniel; Pikus, Dmitri; Tripp, Omer; Weisman, Omri. Selective Data Flow Analysis of Bounded Regions of Computer Software Applications. U.S. Patent Number 8819644, filed March 5, 2012, and published online on August 26, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8819644.PN.&OS=PN/8819644RS=PN/8819644

Keywords for this news article include: International Business Machines Corporation, Software.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC


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Source: Computer Weekly News


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