Abstract Program Slicing: From Theory towards an Implementation

  • Isabella Mastroeni
  • Đurica Nikolić
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6447)


In this paper we extend the formal framework proposed by Binkley et al. for representing and comparing forms of program slicing. This framework describes many well-known forms of slicing in a unique formal structure based on (abstract) projections of state trajectories. We use this formal framework for defining a new technique of slicing, called abstract slicing, which aims to slice programs with respect to properties of variables. In this way we are able to extend the original work with three forms of abstract slicing, static, dynamic and conditioned, we show that all existing forms are instantiations of their corresponding abstract forms and we enrich the existing slicing technique hierarchy by inserting these abstract forms of slicing. Furthermore, we provide an algorithmic approach for extracting abstract slices. The algorithm is split into two modules: the simple approach, used for abstract static slicing, and the extended approach, composed of several applications of the simple one, which is used for abstract conditioned slicing.


Program Slicing Semantics Program Analysis Abstract Interpretation 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Binkley, D., Danicic, S., Gyimóthy, T., Harman, M., Kiss, Á., Korel, B.: A formalisation of the relationship between forms of program slicing. Sci. Comput. Program 62(3), 228–252 (2006)MathSciNetCrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Binkley, D., Danicic, S., Gyimóthy, T., Harman, M., Kiss, Á., Korel, B.: Theoretical foundations of dynamic program slicing. Theor. Comput. Sci. 360(1), 23–41 (2006)MathSciNetCrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Binkley, D.W., Gallagher, K.B.: Program slicing. Advances in Computers 43 (1996)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Canfora, G., Cinitile, A., De Lucia, A.: Conditioned program slicing. Information and Software Tech. 40, 11–12 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cimitile, A., De Lucia, A., Munro, M.: A specification driven slicing process for identifying reusable functions. Journal of Software Maintenance 8(3), 145–178 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cousot, P., Cousot, R.: Abstract interpretation: A unified lattice model for static analysis of programs by construction or approximation of fixpoints. In: Proc. of Conf. Record of the 4th ACM Symp. on Principles of Programming Languages (POPL 1977), pp. 238–252. ACM Press, New York (1977)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    De Lucia, A.: Program slicing: Methods and applications. In: IEEE International Workshop on Source Code Analysis and Manipulation (2001)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Field, J., Ramalingam, G., Tip, F.: Parametric program slicing. In: POPL 1995: Proceedings of the 22nd ACM SIGPLAN-SIGACT symposium on Principles of programming languages, pp. 379–392. ACM, New York (1995)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gallagher, K.B., Lyle, J.R.: Using program slicing in software maintenance. IEEE Trans. on Software Engineering 17(8), 751–761 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Giacobazzi, R., Mastroeni, I.: Abstract non-interference: Parameterizing non-interference by abstract interpretation. In: Proc. of the 31st Annual ACM SIGPLAN-SIGACT Symp. on Principles of Programming Languages (POPL 2004), pp. 186–197. ACM-Press, New York (2004)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hong, H.S., Lee, I., Sokolsky, O.: Abstract slicing: A new approach to program slicing based on abstract interpretation and model checking. In: Proc. of the Fifth IEEE International Workshop on Source Code Analysis and Manipulation (SCAM 2005), pp. 25–34. IEEE Comp. Soc. Press, Los Alamitos (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Korel, B., Laski, J.: Dynamic program slicing. Information Processing Letters 29(3), 155–183 (1988)CrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Mastroeni, I., Zanardini, D.: Data dependencies and program slicing: From syntax to abstract semantics. In: Proc. of the ACM SIGPLAN Symp. on Partial Evaluation and Semantics-Based Program Manipulation (PEPM 2008), pp. 125–134 (2008)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Tip, F.: A survey of program slicing techniques. J. of Programming Languages 3, 121–189 (1995)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Weiser, M.: Program slicing. IEEE Trans. on Software Engineering 10(4), 352–357 (1984)CrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Yorsh, G., Ball, T., Sagiv, M.: Testing, abstraction, theorem proving: better together! In: ISSTA 2006: Proceedings of the 2006 International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis, pp. 145–156. ACM, New York (2006)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isabella Mastroeni
    • 1
  • Đurica Nikolić
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di InformaticaUniversità di VeronaItaly

Personalised recommendations