Use of Aliases in Tabular Expressions

Junhua Hu


Experience has shown that tabular expressions can improve the readability of document for conditional function and relation which frequently occur in software documentation, but tabular expressions may still be long and hard to read when the same substructure of a complicated data structure appears in several places in tabular expressions. Parnas proposed the use of aliases to reduce the complexity of tabular expressions. An alias is a short identifier that designates a substructure or a set of substructures. Once an alias is defined, the short identifier can be used in tabular expressions. This thesis presents how to define aliases and how to use aliases in tabular expressions. This thesis also shows that the use of aliases can improve the readability of tabular expression. Tabular expressions containing aliases can be evaluated using the Alias Table Tool and the Code Generator. The Alias Table Tool, which works as a preprocessor of the Code Generator, has been developed.