Evidence-Based Comparison of Modularity Support Between Java and Object Teams

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Background: Aspect-oriented programming (AOP) is an emerging programming paradigm whose focus is about improving modularity, with an emphasis on the modularization of crosscutting concerns.
Objective: The goal of this paper is to assess the extent to which an AOP language – ObjectTeams/Java (OT/J) – improves the modularity of a software system. This improvement has been claimed but, to the best of our knowledge, this paper is the first attempting to present quantitative evidence of it.
Method: We compare functionally-equivalent implementations of the Gang-of-Four design patterns, developed in Java and OT/J, using software metrics.
Results: The results of our comparison support the modularity improvement claims made in the literature. For six of the seven metrics used, the OT/J versions of the patterns obtained significantly better results.
Limitations: This work uses a set of metrics originally defined for object-oriented (OO) systems. It may be the case that the metrics are biased, in that they were created in the context of OO programming (OOP), before the advent of AOP. We consider this comparison a stepping stone as, ultimately, we plan to assess the modularity improvements with paradigm independent metrics, which will conceivably eliminate the bias. Each individual example from the sample used in this paper is small. In future, we plan to replicate this experiment using larger systems, where the benefits of AOP may be more noticeable.
Conclusion: This work contributes with evidence to fill gaps in the body of quantitative results supporting alleged benefits to software modularity brought by AOP languages, namely OT/J.
Original languageUnknown
Title of host publicationESCOT
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010
EventEmpirical Evaluation of Software Composition Techniques (ESCOT) -
Duration: 1 Jan 2010 → …


ConferenceEmpirical Evaluation of Software Composition Techniques (ESCOT)
Period1/01/10 → …

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