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Transactional pointcuts for aspect-oriented programming Open Access


Other title
Exception Handling
dynamic join point model
aspect-oriented programming
transactional pointcut
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Sadat Kooch Mohtasham, Seyed Hossein
Supervisor and department
H. James Hoover, Computing Science
Examining committee member and department
Jose Nelson Amaral, Computing Science
Kenny Wong, Computing Science
Gregor Kiczales, Computer Science, University of British Columbia
John C. Bowman, Mathematical and Statistical Sciences
Department of Computing Science

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
In dynamic pointcut-advice join point models of Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP), join points are typically selected and advised independently of each other. That is, the relationships between join points are not considered in join point selection and advice. But these inter-relationships are key to the designation and advice of arbitrary pieces of code when modularizing concerns such as exception handling and synchronization. Without a mechanism for associating join points, one must instead refactor (if possible) into one method the two or more related join points that are to be advised together. In practice, join points are often not independent. Instead, they form part of a higher-level operation that implements the intent of the developer (e.g. managing a resource). This relationship should be made more explicit. We extend the dynamic pointcut-advice join point model to make possible the designation, reification, and advice of interrelated join points. The Transactional Pointcut (transcut), which is a realization of this extended model, is a special join point designator that selects sets of interrelated join points. Each match of a transcut is a set of join points that are related through control flow, dataflow, or both. This allows transcuts to define new types of join points (pieces of computation) by capturing the key points of a computation and to provide effective access for their manipulation (i.e. advice). Essentially, transcuts almost eliminate the need for refactoring to expose join points, which is shown by others to have a significant negative effect on software quality. The transcut construct was implemented as an extension to the AspectJ language and integrated into the AspectBench compiler. We used transcuts to modularize the concern of exception handling in two real-world software systems. The results show that transcuts are effective in designating target join points without unnecessary refactorings, even when the target code is written obliviously to the potential aspectization.
License granted by Seyed Hossein Sadat Kooch Mohtasham ( on 2010-12-22T04:09:37Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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