|(system, product, design)||reverse engineering - The process of analysing an existing
system to identify its components and their interrelationships
and create representations of the system in another form or at
a higher level of abstraction. Reverse engineering is usually
undertaken in order to redesign the system for better
maintainability or to produce a copy of a system without
access to the design from which it was originally produced.|
For example, one might take the executable code of a computer program, run it to study how it behaved with different input and then attempt to write a program oneself which behaved identically (or better). An integrated circuit might also be reverse engineered by an unscrupulous company wishing to make unlicensed copies of a popular chip.