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Moral dominance relations for program comprehension

Shaw, S.C.; Goldstein, M.; Munro, M.; Burd, E.

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S.C. Shaw

M. Munro

E. Burd


Dominance trees have been used as a means for reengineering legacy systems into potential reuse candidates. The dominance relation suggests the reuse candidates which are identified by strongly directly dominated subtrees. We review the approach and illustrate how the dominance tree may fail to show the relationship between the strongly direct dominated procedures and the directly dominated procedures. We introduce a relation of generalized conditional independence which strengthens the argument for the adoption of the potential reuse candidates suggested by the dominance tree and explains their relationship with the directly dominated vertices. This leads to an improved dominance tree, the moral dominance tree, which helps aid program comprehension available from the tree. The generalized conditional independence relation also identifies potential reuse candidates that are missed by the dominance relation.


Shaw, S., Goldstein, M., Munro, M., & Burd, E. (2003). Moral dominance relations for program comprehension. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, 29(9), 851-863.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Sep 1, 2003
Publication Date Sep 1, 2003
Deposit Date Oct 8, 2008
Publicly Available Date Oct 8, 2008
Journal IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering
Print ISSN 0098-5589
Publisher Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 29
Issue 9
Pages 851-863
Keywords program comprehension


Published Journal Article (289 Kb)

Copyright Statement
©2003 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.

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