Information about a software system's execution can help a developer with many tasks, including software testing, performance tuning, and program understanding. In almost all cases, this dynamic information is reported in terms of source-level constructs, such as procedures and methods. For some software engineering tasks, source-level information is not optimal because there is a wide gap between the information presented (i.e., procedures) and the concepts of interest to the software developer (i.e., subsystems). One way to close this gap is to allow developers to investigate the execution information in terms of a higher-level, typically architectural, view. In this paper, we present a straightforward encoding technique for dynamic trace information that makes it tractable and efficient to manipulate a trace from a variety of different architecture-level viewpoints. We also describe how this encoding technique has been used to support the development of two tools: a visualization tool and a path query tool. We present this technique to enable the development of additional tools that manipulate dynamic information at a higher-level than source.
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