Dataflow graphs as complete causal graphs


Component-based development is one of the core principles behind modern software engineering practices. Understanding of causal relationships between components of a software system can yield significant benefits to developers. Yet modern software design approaches make it difficult to track and discover such relationships at system scale, which leads to growing intellectual debt. In this paper we consider an alternative approach to software design, flow-based programming (FBP), and draw the attention of the community to the connection between dataflow graphs produced by FBP and structural causal models. With expository examples we show how this connection can be leveraged to improve day-to-day tasks in software projects, including fault localisation, business analysis and experimentation.

In IEEE/ACM 2nd International Conference on AI Engineering–Software Engineering for AI (CAIN), 2023
Siyuan Guo
Siyuan Guo
PhD student in Computer Science