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Dynamic network analysis of software systems

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Anjan Pakhira, Dr Peter Andras



It is difficult to analyse large-scale integrated software systems with the purpose of improving their dependability and functionality through maintenance and evolution. Such systems contain many interactions between their components and can be represented as complex interaction networks similar to complex biological and socio-technical systems. Here we combine dynamic analysis and network analysis methods with the aim to determine and validate components of high functional importance in software systems. We use as a test case the JHotDraw 6.01b software and predict the method calls with high functional importance using network analysis methods. We validate the predictions by disabling the methods predicted to have high functional importance and evaluating the behaviour of the software following this. Our results show that network analysis methods are relatively good in predicting method calls of high functional importance. Such analysis can predict vulnerabilities or critical components of software systems and can be used to predict patching or updating needs of software systems.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pakhira A, Andras P

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: School of Computing Science Technical Report Series

Year: 2011

Pages: 11

Print publication date: 01/03/2011

Source Publication Date: March 2011

Report Number: 1239

Institution: School of Computing Science, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Place Published: Newcastle upon Tyne