Design Patterns as Aspects: A Quantitative Assessment

Cláudio Sant'AnnaAlessandro GarciaUirá KuleszaCarlos José Pereira de LucenaArndt von Staa

Design patterns offer flexible solutions to common problems in software development. Recent studies have shown that several design patterns involve crosscutting concerns. Unfortunately, object-oriented (OO) abstractions are often not able to modularize those crosscutting concerns, which in turn decrease the system reusability and maintainability. Hence, it is important verify-ing whether aspect-oriented approaches support improved modularization of crosscutting con-cerns relative to design patterns. Ideally, quantitative studies should be performed to compare object-oriented and aspect-oriented implementations of classical patterns with respect to impor-tant software engineering attributes, such as coupling and cohesion. This paper presents a quantitative study that compares aspect-based and OO solutions for a representative set of de-sign patterns. We have used stringent software engineering attributes as the assessment criteria. We have found that most aspect-oriented solutions improve separation of pattern-related con-cerns, although some aspect-oriented implementations of specific patterns resulted in higher coupling and more lines of code.

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