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A Formal Framework for On-line Software Version Change
February 1996 (vol. 22 no. 2)
pp. 120-131

Abstract—The usual way of installing a new version of a software system is to shut down the running program and then install the new version. This necessitates a sometimes unacceptable delay during which service is denied to the users of the software. An on-line software replacement system replaces parts of the software while it is in execution, thus eliminating the shutdown. While a number of implementations of on-line version change systems have been described in the literature, little investigation has been done on its theoretical aspects. In this paper, we describe a formal framework for studying on-line software version change. We give a general definition of validity of an on-line change, show that it is in general undecidable and then develop sufficient conditions for ensuring validity for a procedural language.

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Index Terms:
On-line software version change, validity of change, process, state, reachable state, data flow analysis, functional enhancement.
Citation:
Deepak Gupta, Pankaj Jalote, Gautam Barua, "A Formal Framework for On-line Software Version Change," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 120-131, Feb. 1996, doi:10.1109/32.485222
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