CWI researcher and CEO of CWI spinoff SWAT.Engineering Davy Landman has been awarded the Institute for Programming research and Algorithmics (IPA) Dissertation Award 2018 for his thesis "Reverse engineering source code: Empirical studies of limitations and opportunities." Each year, IPA grants an award to the IPA PhD student who wrote the best IPA thesis, published in the IPA dissertation series in the preceding calendar year. In his thesis Landman studied the automation of software renovation by using Reverse Engineering.
In his thesis Landman explored the limits of domain model recovery by manually recovering domain models. Comparing these models to a manually constructed reference domain model he found that most domain information could be recovered - with high quality - from the source code. This suggests a bright future for automated reverse engineering of domain model from source code.
Secondly he shows that, in contradiction to what has been widely assumed up until now, Cyclomatic Complexity and Lines of Code are not linearly correlated. This indicates that it remains useful to keep considering the cyclomatic complexity and lines of code separately. This result is of great importance theoretically, but also practically.
The third key contribution of Landman's dissertation is that he shows that almost all Java source code relies on reflection. Given the current analysis tools, this means that Java code cannot be fully checked for safety and correctness.
After finishing his PhD, Davy started a spinoff called SWAT.engineering, together with Paul Klint and Jurgen Vinju of CWI's SWAT group. SWAT.engingeering helps clients deal with the ever growing software complexity by designing new (domain specific) programming languages, and analysing existing legacy software. The committee applauds the fact that Landman is actively working on the valorisation of his research results through setting up his own company.
The award consists of a monetary reward of 1000 Euro and an official certificate. The award will be handed to Landman at the IPA PhD Workshop during the IPA Fall Days, on Monday October 29th.
The Institute for Programming research and Algorithmics (IPA) is a KNAW recognised national inter-university research school. Its principal goal is to educate researchers in the field of programming research and algorithmics.
About CWI’s Software Analysis and Transformation group (SWAT)
SWAT studies software systems: their design, their construction, and their inevitable evolution. Their mission is to learn to understand software systems and to improve their quality. The group focuses on complexity as the primary quality attribute of software systems.