Coupling in software applications is often used as an indicator of external quality attributes such as fault-proneness. In fact, the correlation of coupling metrics and faults in object-oriented programs has been widely studied. However, there is very limited knowledge about which coupling properties in aspect-oriented programming (AOP) are effective indicators of faults in modules. Existing coupling metrics do not take into account the specificities of AOP mechanisms. As a result, these metrics are unlikely to provide optimal predictions of pivotal quality attributes such as fault-proneness. This impacts further by restraining the assessments of AOP empirical studies. To address these issues, this paper presents an empirical study to evaluate the impact of coupling sourced from AOP-specific mechanisms. We utilise a novel set of coupling metrics to predict fault occurrences in aspect-oriented programs. We also compare these new metrics against previously proposed metrics for AOP. More specifically, we analyse faults from several releases of three AspectJ applications and perform statistical analyses to reveal the effectiveness of these metrics when predicting faults. Our study shows that a particular set of fine-grained directed coupling metrics have the potential to help create better fault prediction models for AO programs.
Copyright Notice: This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work.Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. In most cases, these works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.
IEEE Copyright Notice: © 2001-2020 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.complete documentdoi: http://doi.org/10.1109/ISSRE.2010.33 (publisher's link)