Plagiarism detection in source programs using structural similarities

  • Gergely Lukácsy
  • Péter Szeredi


The paper presents a plagiarism detection framework the goal of which is to determine whether two programs are similar to each other, and if so, to what extent. The issue of plagiarism detection has been considered earlier for written material, such as student essays. For these, text-based algorithms have been published. We argue that in case of program code comparison, structure based techniques may be much more suitable. The main idea is to transform the source code into mathematical objects, use appropriate reduction and comparison methods on these, and interpret the results appropriately. We have designed a generic program structure comparison framework and implemented it for the Prolog and SML programming languages. We have been using the implementation at BUTE to successfully detect plagiarism in homework assignments for years.


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How to Cite
Lukácsy, G., & Szeredi, P. (2009). Plagiarism detection in source programs using structural similarities. Acta Cybernetica, 19(1), 191-216.
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