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This paper addresses the question of whether the reverse engineering of legacy systems is doomed to failure. Our position is that the answer is highly dependent on the specific goals of the reverse engineering process. We argue that while most reverse engineering efforts may well fail to achieve the traditional goal of automatically extracted complete specifications suitable for forward engineering, they are likely to succeed on the more modest goal of automatically extracting partialdoi:10.1145/225014.225046 dblp:conf/icse/Quilici95 fatcat:aoicxatemnfgfdnetbruo2wkzi