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Understanding aspect-oriented systems, without appropriate tool support, is a difficult and a recognized problem in the research community. Surprisingly, little has been done to help developers understand the impact of the static crosscutting constructs of AspectJ on base programs. Questions of interest to developers such as: which statements in a base program are affected by a given inter-type declaration, or how has the behavior of the affected statements been modified, are still outstanding. This paper presents analysis techniques for inferring the impact of the static crosscutting constructs of AspectJ on base programs, and tools for visualizing the results of the analysis; thus improving the comprehension of AspectJ systems and guarding against unintended modifications. Our analyses are implemented as extensions to the AspectBench compiler, and integrated in the Eclipse IDE as a plugin. We present experiments on several open source systems to investigate the effectiveness and suitability of our analysis techniques and tools.
Date of Conference: 17-19 May 2009