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Author Ammar, Nariman ♦ Abi-Antoun, Marwan
Source CiteSeerX
Content type Text
File Format PDF
Subject Domain (in DDC) Computer science, information & general works ♦ Data processing & computer science
Subject Keyword Run-time Structure ♦ Empirical Evaluation ♦ Code Structure ♦ Runtime Structure ♦ Source File ♦ Data Structure ♦ Many Tool ♦ Irrelevant Code ♦ Object-oriented Design ♦ Framework Application ♦ Feature Implementation Task ♦ Controlled Experiment ♦ Program Comprehension ♦ Keywords-controlled Experiment ♦ Object Play ♦ Hierarchical Ownership Object Graph ♦ Conceptual Group ♦ Oog Conveys Architectural Abstraction ♦ Significant Object ♦ Ownership Hierarchy ♦ Positive Effect
Abstract Abstract—With object-oriented design, it is at least as important—possibly more important—to understand the runtime structure, in terms of objects and their relations, as to understand the code structure dealing with source files, classes and packages. Today, many tools and diagrams help developers understand the code structure. Diagrams of the runtime structure, however, are much less mature. One diagram of the run-time structure is a statically extracted, global, hierarchical Ownership Object Graph (OOG). The OOG conveys architectural abstraction by ownership hierarchy by showing architecturally significant objects near the top of the hierarchy and data structures further down. In an OOG, objects are also organized into named, conceptual groups called domains. We evaluate, in a controlled experiment, whether an OOG, as a diagram of the run-time structure, improves comprehension by giving developers the ability to distinguish the role that an object plays, not only by type, but also by named groups (domains) or by position in the run-time structure (ownership). We observed 10 participants, for 3 hours each, perform three feature implementation tasks on a framework application. Our results indicate that, on average, the OOG had a positive effect of varying extents on comprehension that reduced the time spent by 22%-60 % and irrelevant code explored by 10%-60%. The difference was significant (p < 0.05) for two of the tasks. Keywords-controlled experiment, program comprehension I.
Educational Role Student ♦ Teacher
Age Range above 22 year
Educational Use Research
Education Level UG and PG ♦ Career/Technical Study