Eliciting a Sensemaking Process from Verbal Protocols of Reverse Engineers


A process of sensemaking in reverse engineering was elicited from verbal protocols of reverse engineers as they investigated the assembly code of executable programs. Four participants were observed during task performance and verbal protocols were collected and analyzed from two of the participants to determine their problem-solving states and characterize likely transitions between those states. From this analysis, a high-level process of sensemaking is described which represents hypothesis generation and information-seeking behaviors in reverse engineering within a framework of goal-directed planning. Future work in validation and application of the process is discussed.

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