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AspectMaps: A Scalable Visualization of Join Point Shadows

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3 Author(s)
Fabry, J. ; Comput. Sci. Dept. (DCC), Univ. of Chile, Santiago, Chile ; Kellens, A. ; Ducasse, S.

When using Aspect-Oriented Programming, it is sometimes difficult to determine at which join point an aspect executes. Similarly, when considering one join point, knowing which aspects will execute there and in what order is non-trivial. This makes it difficult to understand how the application will behave. A number of visualizations have been proposed that attempt to provide support for such program understanding. However, they neither scale up to large code bases nor scale down to understanding what happens at a single join point. In this paper, we present Aspect Maps -- a visualization that scales in both directions, thanks to a multi-level selective structural zoom. We show how the use of Aspect Maps allows for program understanding of code with aspects, revealing both a wealth of information of what can happen at one particular join point as well as allowing to see the "big picture" on a larger code base. We demonstrate the usefulness of Aspect Maps on an example and present the results of a small user study that shows that Aspect Maps outperforms other aspect visualization tools.

Published in:

Program Comprehension (ICPC), 2011 IEEE 19th International Conference on

Date of Conference:

22-24 June 2011

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