The need for storing and retrieving knowledge about algorithms is addressed by creating a specialised information management scheme. This scheme is operationalised in terms of a topic map of algorithms.
Metadata are specified for the adequate and precise description of algorithms. The specification describes both the data elements (called attributes) that are relevant to algorithms as well as the relationship of attributes to one another. In addition, a process is formalised for gathering data about algorithms and capturing it in the proposed topic map.
The proposed process model and representation scheme are then illustrated by applying them to gather and represent information about transitive closure algorithms. To ensure that this thesis is self-contained, several themes about transitive closures are covered comprehensively. These include the mathematical domain-specific knowledge about transitive closures, methods for calculating the transitive closure of binary relations and techniques that can be applied in transitive closure algorithms.
The work presented in this thesis has a multidisciplinary character. It contributes to the domains of formal aspects, algorithms, mathematical sciences, information sciences and software engineering. It has a strong formal foundation. The confirmation of the correctness of algorithms as well as reasoning regarding the complexity of algorithms are key aspects of this thesis. The content of this thesis revolves around algorithms: their attributes; how they relate to one another; and how new versions of the algorithms may be discovered. The introduction of new mathematical concepts and notational elements as well as new rigorous proofs contained in the thesis, extend the mathematical science domain. The main problem addressed in this thesis is an information management need. The technology, namely topic maps, used here to address the problem originated in the information science domain. It is applied in a new context that ultimately has the potential to lead to the automation of aspects of software implementation. This influences the traditional software engineering life cycle and quality of software products.