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Title: Safe data structure visualisation
Author: Eyre-Todd, Richard A.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1993
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A simple three layer scheme is presented which broadly categorises the types of support that a computing system might provide for program monitoring and debugging, namely hardware, language and external software support. Considered as a whole , the scheme forms a model for an integrated debugging-oriented system architecture. This thesis describes work which spans the upper levels of this architecture. A programming language may support debugging by preventing or detecting the use of objects that have no value. Techniques to help with this task such as formal verification, static analysis, required initialisation and default initialisation are considered. Strategies for tracking variable status at run-time are discussed. Novel methods are presented for adding run-time pointer variable checking to a language that does not normally support this facility. Language constructs that allow the selective control of run-time unassigned variable checking for scalar and composite objects are also described. Debugging at a higher level often involves the extensive examination of a program's data structures. The problem of visualising a particular kind of data structure, the hierarchic graph, is discussed using the previously described language level techniques to ensure data validity. The elementary theory of a class of two-level graphs is presented, together with several algorithms to perform a clustering technique that can improve graph layout and aid understanding.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available