Restructuring Program Identifier Names

Abstract

The identifiers chosen by programmers as entity names contain valuable information. They are often the starting point for the program understanding activities, especially when high level views, like the call graph, are available.

In this paper an approach for the restructuring of program identifier names is proposed, aimed at improving their meaningfulness. It considers two forms of standardization, associated respectively to the lexicon of the composing terms and to the syntax of their arrangement. Automatic and semiautomatic techniques are described which can help the restructuring intervention. Their application to a real world case study is also presented.

Postscript version of the paper.