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  • Original Paper
  • Open Access

On the benefits of quantification in AspectJ systems

  • 1Email author,
  • 1,
  • 2 and
  • 3
Journal of the Brazilian Computer Society201016:8

  • Received: 13 November 2009
  • Accepted: 13 April 2010
  • Published:


In this paper, we argue that the most favorable uses of aspects happen when their code relies extensively on quantified statements, i.e., statements that may affect many parts of a system. When this happens, aspects better contribute to separation of concerns, since the otherwise duplicated and tangled code related to the implementation of a crosscutting concern is confined in a single block of code. We provide in the paper both qualitative and quantitative arguments in favor of quantification. We also propose two new metrics to capture in a simple way the amount of quantification employed in the aspects of a given system. Finally, we describe an Eclipse plugin, called ConcernMetrics that estimates the proposed metrics directly from the object-oriented code of an existing system, i.e., before crosscutting concerns are extracted to aspects. Our main motivation is to help developers and maintainers to decide in a cost-effective way if it is worthwhile to use aspects in their systems.


  • Aspect-oriented programming
  • AspectJ
  • Quantification
  • Separation of Concerns
  • Metrics
  • Refactoring