Computer Science and Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Computer Science and Engineering Technical Report TR-UNL-CSE-2006-0014
Issued Oct. 12, 2006
Published in Matthew B. Dwyer and Antónia Lopes, editors, Fundamental Approaches to Software Engineering, volume 4422/2007 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 260-275, Braga, Portugal, March 2007. Copyright Springer Berlin / Heidelberg. Used by permission.


Web applications are increasingly prominent in society, serving a wide variety of user needs. Engineers seeking to enhance, test, and maintain these applications and third-party programmers wishing to utilize these applications need to understand their interfaces. In this paper, therefore, we present methodologies for characterizing the interfaces of web applications through a form of dynamic analysis, in which directed requests are sent to the application, and responses are analyzed to draw inferences about its interface. We also provide mechanisms to increase the scalability of the approach. Finally, we evaluate the approach’s performance on six non-trivial web applications.