Software

A Simple and Effective Measure for Complex Low-Level Dependencies

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Executive Summary

The measure dep-degree is a simple indicator for structural problems and complex dependencies on code-level. The authors model low-level dependencies between program operations as use-def graph, which is generated from reaching definitions of variables. The more dependencies a program operation has, the more different program states have to be considered and the more difficult it is to understand the operation. Dep-degree is simple to compute and interpret, flexible and scalable in its application, and independently complementing other indicators. Preliminary experiments suggest that the measure dep-degree, which simply counts the number of dependency edges in the use-def graph, is a good indicator for readability and understandablity.

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