CEC Theses and Dissertations


A Software Reengineering Method for Evolving a Structured Legacy System to an Object-Oriented System Model Using the Unified Modeling Language

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


John A. Scigliano

Committee Member

Jacques Levin

Committee Member

Laurie Dringus


The problem investigated by the researcher in this study is the lack of advancement of software reengineering methods that involve modeling and the migration of a structured legacy system to an object-oriented system. The solution proposed in the study was implemented with the Unified Modeling Language (UML). Given the many benefits of object-oriented systems over conventional procedural systems and the rapidly escalating costs of maintenance of systems written in conventional languages, the migration of billions of lines of procedural code written into object-oriented languages is an attractive option. However, conversion of procedural systems into object-oriented systems has been an elusive goal. The purpose of the researcher in this study was to define a method from a systems perspective for the software reengineering of legacy systems into an object-oriented system using the UML as the textual and graphical depiction of the reengineered legacy system. The method consisted of the process or steps to be taken when extracting the functionality of the legacy system to its subsequent depiction using the UML. The expectations of this research included the development of an abstract methodology for software reengineering of a structured legacy system into the model of an object-oriented design using the UML from a systems perspective. The model was validated through the study of a specific example. This approach did not employ a traditional quantitative research method; demonstration of the methodology's feasibility was based on a case study that consisted of application of the methodology to a legacy system. Metrics were applied to determine the quality of the resulting reengineered object-oriented UML model. The method this researcher defined integrated the extraction of coded information with domain knowledge to achieve the UML depicted object-oriented target architecture. It was demonstrated through the reengineering of a single application in the legacy.

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