PPIG 2008 - 20th Annual Workshop
An MCL algorithm based technique for comprehending spreadsheets
Bennett Kankuzi, Yirsaw Ayalew
Abstract: Spreadsheets are computer programs. However, as with programs written in traditional programming languages, it is very difficult to understand a spreadsheet created by others. This is because spreadsheet users normally view the superficial numerical (value) view of spreadsheets although computations are specified through “hidden” cell formulas. The cell formulas also define the data-flow structure of the spreadsheet. In this paper, we present a technique that highlights logical areas in spreadsheets which may act as a guide in understanding a spreadsheet. Instead of focussing their attention on the whole spreadsheet, spreadsheet users may narrow their focus to one logical area at a time. We identify logical areas in spreadsheets by using the MCL (Markov Clustering) algorithm on the underlying spreadsheet data-flow graph.