UD professor’s paper wins award for decade-long impact on software engineering and computer security

Computer technology has evolved rapidly since 2007 — the year Apple introduced the iPhone. But software engineers are always building on the wisdom of the past, and a University of Delaware professor was just recognized for a contribution he made a decade ago.

James Clause, associate professor of computer and information sciences, received the ISSTA 2017 Impact Paper Award from the International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis. This honor recognizes papers published within the last 10 years that have had a significant impact on the field.

Clause and two colleagues authored the paper, “Dytan: A Generic Dynamic Taint Analysis Framework,” in 2007, when Clause was a graduate student at the Georgia Institute of Technology. They presented their technique at ISSTA that year.

“Dytan is a framework for prototyping dynamic tainting analyses, which are a type of analysis that can track the flow of information though a program,” says Clause. Dytan can be used to detect and prevent attacks, enforce information policy, test software, and track how long sensitive data remains in an application.

Clause and co-authors Alessandro Orso and Wanchun (Paul) Li gave a presentation on the paper’s impact on July 12 at this year’s ISSTA. The 2007 paper has now been cited more than 400 times by 668 unique authors in 169 different publications or conference proceedings.