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Generating Pylogenetic Tree of Homogeneous Source Code in a Plagiarism Detection System

Jeong-Hoon Ji, Su-Hyun Park, Gyun Woo*, and Hwan-Gue Cho
International Journal of Control, Automation, and Systems, vol. 6, no. 6, pp.809-817, 2008

Abstract : Program plagiarism is widespread due to intelligent software and the global Internet environment. Consequently the detection of plagiarized source code and software is becoming important especially in academic field. Though numerous studies have been reported for detecting plagiarized pairs of codes, we cannot find any profound work on understanding the underlying mechanisms of plagiarism. In this paper, we study the evolutionary process of source codes regarding that the plagiarism procedure can be considered as evolutionary steps of source codes. The final goal of our paper is to reconstruct a tree depicting the evolution process in the source code. To this end, we extend the well-known bioinformatics approach, a local alignment approach, to detect a region of similar code with an adaptive scoring matrix. The asymmetric code similarity based on the local alignment can be considered as one of the main contribution of this paper. The phylogenetic tree or evolution tree of source codes can be reconstructed using this asymmetric measure. To show the effectiveness and efficiency of the phylogeny construction algorithm, we conducted experiments with more than 100 real source codes which were obtained from East-Asia ICPC (International Collegiate Programming Contest). Our experiments showed that the proposed algorithm is quite successful in reconstructing the evolutionary direction, which enables us to identify plagiarized codes more accurately and reliably. Also, the phylogeny construction algorithm is successfully implemented on top of the plagiarism detection system of an automatic program evaluation system.

Keyword : Asymmetric local alignment, evolution process, phylogeny of source codes, plagiarism detection, source code similarity.

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