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Improving the Search for Refactoring Opportunities on Object-Oriented and Aspect-Oriented Software
Refactoring is the process of improving the design of software systems without changing their externally observable behaviour. Refactoring can help to incrementally improve the quality of a software system through the application of behavioural preserving transformations called refactoring patterns. The main goal of the research this thesis reports is to provide a detailed process for refactoring, including mechanism for (i) the selection and creation of quality models, the selection of refactoring patterns, and the creation and use of heuristic rules, (ii) the search for refactoring opportunities and prioritisation, (iii) the assessment of the effects of refactoring on software quality, and (iv) the trade-off analysis and the application of refactoring patterns. To exemplify how the approach works and how the process can be used, different case studies are being used throughout the thesis. The selection of refactoring patterns, quality models and heuristic rules, and the search and prioritisation mechanisms are exemplified for object-oriented software. The assessment of refactoring effects on software quality, the trade-off analysis and the application of refactoring patterns are discussed in the context of aspect-oriented programming. Besides the definition of a refactoring process, a set of additional contributions of this thesis are (i) the definition of an approach for the selection and ranking of refactoring patterns, (ii) an approach for reducing the search space for refactoring opportunities when dealing with successive refactoring, (iii) the definition of search mechanisms for refactoring opportunities, (iv) an approach to evaluate the effects of refactoring on software quality, (v) a catalogue of shortcomings in aspect-oriented software and their related refactoring patterns, and (vi) an study of metrics for aspect-oriented software, including their formal definition, analytical evaluation and data interpretation.
Start Date: 2005-09-01
End Date: 2009-01-23
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