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A lot of this patent feels like it has prior art in existing tools such as disassemblers and profilers.

Patent text

Claim 1

  1. A method for detecting a time complexity associated with an executable program stored in a computer memory device, comprising:

    (1) automatically analyzing said stored program with a computer processor to detect the time complexity of said program based on loops in the code;

    (2) automatically analyzing said stored program with said processor to detect the time complexity of said program based on a code flow and a destination of branching instructions in the program;

    automatically determining the minimum time complexity between the time complexity detected in (1) and the time complexity detected in (2) as the time complexity of said program.

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2 Answers 2

The first claim seems to be pretty much what you would want to do in a real-time system where you want to automatically determine whether a given piece of code will fulfill the real-time requirements you have. This would be known as static profiling to determine the worst case execution time (WCET).

One likely prior art reference could be the following publication: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=4032336&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D4032336

I haven't read anything past the abstract, but the abstract may be broad enough to invalidate the first claim alone.

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IDA Pro seems to cover claims 2a, 2b, 4 and 5. The profiler in Visual studio seems to cover claim 14 and Visual Studio in general seems to cover most of claim 17 and 18.

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Each claim (including its chain of dependency) is taken as a whole. That means there is no such thing as "claim 2a" or "2b". –  George White Mar 6 at 16:21
    
This patent covers a static analysis of high level code to provide graphical representations of paths that can happen and run time. Profilers, I believe, run the code and see what happens. –  George White Mar 6 at 18:50
    
@GeorgeWhite: of course, you are correct. However, henke37 probably means that the prior art reference does not cover all claim elements and as such you need at least a second reference to cover all claim elements. –  D.Sachse Mar 12 at 20:24
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