Concept Analysis

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ConceptAnalysis is a mathematical approach to building taxonomies. Given a set of objects, a set of attributes, and a feature table telling which object has which feature, concept analysis produces a lattice concisely showing combinations of maximal object sets with maximal feature sets.

An example lattice is available at

ReEngineering applications include:

  • R. Godin, G. Mineau, R. Missaoui, M. St-Germain and N. Faraj, Applying Concept Formation to SoftwareReuse. International Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering 5(1):119-142, 1995.
  • C. Lindig and G. Snelting. Assessing modular structure of legacy code based on mathematical concept analysis. ICSE-19 (1997), pp. 349-359.
  • Sahraoui H. A., Melo W. L., Lounis H., and Dumont F. Applying concept formation methods to object identification in procedural code. ASE'97, pp. 210-218.
  • M. Siff and T. Reps. Identifying modules via concept analysis. ICSM'97 (1997), IEEE Computer Society.
  • G. Snelting. Concept analysis - a new framework for ProgramUnderstanding. In Proceedings PASTE 98. SIGPLAN Notices 33(7).
  • G. Snelting and F. Tip. ReEngineering class hierarchies using concept analysis. In Foundations of Software Engineering, FSE-6 1998), ACM, pp. 99-110. SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes 23(6).
  • ArieVanDeursen and TobiasKuipers. IdentifyingObjectsUsingClusterAndConceptAnalysis. In Proceedings ICSE 1999. Includes a comparison with ClusterAnalysis
  • G. Canfora, A. Cimitile, A. De Lucia, G.A. Di Lucca. A Case Study of Applying an Eclectic Approach to Identify Objects in Code. Proceedings IWPC 1999, pp. 136-143.
  • Th. Eisenbarth, RainerKoschke, and D. Simon. Aiding Program Comprehension by Static and Dynamic Feature Analysis. In Proceedings ICSM, IEEE Computer Society Press, 2001.

A tool for constructing concept lattices is available from C. Lindig at

The standard textbook explaining the maths of concept analysis is:

CategoryReverseEngineering | Contributions by ArieVanDeursen