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A reflective implementation of Java multi-methods

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3 Author(s)
Forax, R. ; Inst. Gaspard-Monge, Univ. de Marne-la-Vallee, France ; Duris, E. ; Roussel, G.

In Java, method implementations are chosen at runtime by late-binding with respect to the runtime class of just the receiver argument. However, in order to simplify many programming designs, late-binding with respect to the dynamic type of all arguments is sometimes desirable. This behavior, usually provided by multimethods, is known as multipolymorphism. This work presents a new multimethod implementation based on the standard Java reflection mechanism. Provided as a package, it does not require any language extension or any virtual machine modification. The design issues of this reflective implementation are presented together with a new and simple multimethod dispatch algorithm that efficiently supports class loading at runtime. This implementation provides a practicable and fully portable multimethod solution.

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Software Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:30 ,  Issue: 12 )