Un-Building Blocks: A Model of Reverse Engineering and Applicable Heuristics
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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Reverse engineering is the problem-solving activity that ensues when one takes a human-made system, whole or in part, and attempts through systematic analysis of its physical characteristics and other available evidence to answer one or more of the following questions What is this for What does it do How does it do it What is inside it How was it made A model developed from a synthesis of the technical literature is used to infer modes of failure in the process of reverse engineering and identify and catalog applicable experience-based techniques known as heuristics. The model is then cast in an executable formal language in order to further test its assumptions, and explore its implications. Hands-on, historic, and virtual case studies are used to validate and refine the model. The modes of failure, heuristics, and the model itself in its original and formal language expressions, introduce a new descriptive terminology of reverse engineering and provide a new framework to interpret real world reverse engineering activity.
- Operations Research