Paolo Tonella and Mariano Ceccato.

Refactoring the Aspectizable Interfaces: an Empirical Assessment.


Aspect Oriented Programming aims at addressing the problem of the crosscutting concerns, i.e., those functionalities that are scattered among several modules in a given system. Aspects can be defined to modularize such concerns. In this work, we focus on a specific kind of crosscutting concerns, the scattered implementation of methods declared by interfaces that do not belong to the principal decomposition. We call such interfaces {\em aspectizable}.

All the aspectizable interfaces identified within a large number of classes from the Java Standard Library and from three Java applications have been automatically migrated to aspects. To assess the effects of the migration on the internal and external quality attributes of these systems, we collected a set of metrics and we conducted an empirical study, in which some maintenance tasks were executed on the two alternative versions (with and without aspects) of the same system. In this paper we report the results of such a comparison.