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In the philosophy of science, instrumentalism is the view that a concept or theory should be evaluated by how effectively it explains and predicts phenomena, as opposed to how accurately it describes objective reality. It is a rigorous scientific method. typical for fundamental science.

Symbolic analysis (SAM) is an ideal approach to be connected with the instrumentalist purpose. The purpose of SAM is to maximize expressice power of symbols captured from source code in order to model behavior of the corresponding program, the phenomena which model the execution of each symbol to be presented as observations.

The only reductionist concept in this framework is the one of symbol (see yellow label in Fig). For different types of symbols behavioral theories are entered using the automaton formalism. For certain arguments of each linked input symbol each symbol creates a theory, which can be proved in a higher level logic. That approach has connections of how to validate and verify parts of the program.

The figure shows the inheritance paths for the main concepts as well as data paths between concepts.


This blog post concludes the set of 100 stories in this blog.

We are planning a book to illustrate these features more user-friendly.

If anyone has questions or feedback to the author please send me an emain erkki.laitila at

Best regards

Erkki Laitila


Occam’s razor is the principle that can be popularly stated as “when you have two competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better.” The principle is attributed to 14th-century English logician, William of Ockham. Occam’s razor may be alternatively phrased as pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate (“plurality should not be posited without necessity”)

Occam’s razor states that the explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible, eliminating those that make no difference in the observable predictions of the explanatory hypothesis or theory.

Comparing MDA and the atomistic model


The atomistic model contains only one level.


The only object in the atomistic model is atom, i.e. symbolic element. There are no link-nodes or reference nodes, because there are encapsulated into the symbol.

Sir Tony Hoare has presented (in an appreciated keynote of a conference) a metatheory to suggest what should the ideal science be?


The seven principles (Hoare’s approach is verification) are with some modifications of the author.

We apply these principles in our corrective maintenance strategy.

The hermeneutic circle describes the process of understanding a text hermeneutically. With Schleiermacher, hermeneutics begins to stress the importance of the interpreter in the process of interpretation. In this respect hermeneutics focuses on the importance of the interpreter understanding the text as a necessary stage to interpreting it. Understanding, for Schleiermacher, does not simply come from reading the text, but involves knowledge of the historical context of the text and the psychology of the author.

We extend the hermeneutic circle in two ways:

  1. For theories: We collect some of the most essential theries of computer science for buiding a metatheory to explain the process of code analysis in the maintenance approach.
  2. For practice: We describe the process of a software develope when reaching deeper understanding source code.

Because of its support for both theories and practice, hermeneutic circle is an ideal tool to make a bridge between the theory and practice of symbolic analysis, the name of this blog.


Erkki Laitila, PhD (2008) computer engineer (1977)