Cycles Assessment with CycleTable

Jannik Laval 1 Simon Denier 1 Stéphane Ducasse 1
1 RMOD - Analyses and Languages Constructs for Object-Oriented Application Evolution
LIFL - Laboratoire d'Informatique Fondamentale de Lille, Inria Lille - Nord Europe
Abstract : Understanding the package organization of a large application is a challenging and critical task since it allows developers to better maintain the application. Several ap- proaches show in different ways software structure. Fewer show modularity issues at the package level. We focus on modularity issues due to cyclic dependencies between packages. Most approaches detect Strongly Connected Components (SCC) in a graph of dependencies. However, SCC detection does not allow one to easily understand and remove cyclic dependencies in legacy software displaying dozens of packages all dependent on each other. This paper presents i) a heuristic to focus on shared dependencies between cycles in SCC and ii) CycleTable, a visualization showing interesting dependencies to efficiently remove cycles in the system. This visualization is completed with enriched cells, small views displaying the internals of a dependency [LDDB09]. We performed i) a case study which shows that the shared dependency heuristic highlights dependencies to be removed, and ii) a comparative study which shows that CycleTable is useful for the task of breaking cycles in a SCC compared to a normal node-link representation.
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[Research Report] 2011
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Jannik Laval, Simon Denier, Stéphane Ducasse. Cycles Assessment with CycleTable. [Research Report] 2011. 〈inria-00593795〉

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