A System for Understanding Mathematical FORTRAN Programs

Unknown author (1976-08-01)

This paper proposes a system which, when implemented, will be able to understand mathematical FORTRAN programs such as those in the IBM Scientific Subroutine Package. The system takes, as input, a program and annotation of the program. In order to understand the program, the system develops a "plan" for it. The "plan" specifies the purpose of each feature of the program, and how these features cooperate in order to create the behavior exhibited by the program. The system can use its understanding of the program to answer questions about it including questions about the ramifications of a proposed modification. It is also able to aid in debugging the program by detecting errors in it, and by locating the features of the program which are responsible for an error. The system should be of significant assistance to a person who is writing a program.