D. C. Atkinson
W. G. Griswold,
``A Comparative Study of Two Whole Program Slicers for C'',
UCSD TR CS2001-0668, April 2001.
Recently, a few whole-program static slicers for the C programming language
have been developed, permitting a variety of hypotheses about
time-precision tradeoffs in program analysis for software engineering to
be tested. This paper reports an initial investigation into these claims
through GrammaTech's CodeSurfer and UCSD's Sprite research prototype, which
represent two two radically different approaches in the program analysis
tool design space.
First, it was found that algorithmic superiority tended to provide large
improvements in relative precision in selected cases. Second, a number of
non-algorithmic design choices had a more substantial and sometimes
unintuitive influence on slice results. Third, considerable expertise and time
was required to discern the reasons why a particular statement appeared in
a slice, diminishing the slice's probable usefulness. These results
provide recommendations for future tool design.