Experiences from Designing and Validating a Software Modernization Transformation

Alexandru Florin Iosif-Lazăr, Ahmad Salim Al-Sibahi, Aleksandar Dimovski, Juha Erik Savolainen, Krzysztof Sierszecki, Andrzej Wasowski

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Software modernization often involves complex code transformations that convert legacy code to new architectures or platforms, while preserving the semantics of the original programs. We present the lessons learnt from an industrial software modernization project of considerable size. This includes collecting requirements for a code-to-model transformation, designing and implementing the transformation algorithm, and then validating correctness of this transformation for the code-base at hand. Our transformation is implemented in the TXL rewriting language and assumes specifically structured C++ code as input, which it translates to a declarative configuration model. The correctness criterion for the transformation is that the produced model admits the same configurations as the input code. The transformation converts C++ functions specifying around a thousand configuration parameters. We verify the correctness for each run individually, using translation validation and symbolic execution. The technique is formally specified and is applicable automatically for most of the code-base.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 30th ACM/IEEE international conference on Automated software engineering
Publication dateNov 2015
Pages597 - 607
ISBN (Print)978-1-5090-0024-1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015
Event30th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering - Embassy Suites Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska, United States
Duration: 9 Nov 201513 Nov 2015
Conference number: 30


Conference30th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering
LocationEmbassy Suites Lincoln
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLincoln, Nebraska
Internet address


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