Requirements Engineering

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 197–214 | Cite as

Modeling and detecting semantic-based interactions in aspect-oriented scenarios

  • Gunter Mussbacher
  • Jon Whittle
  • Daniel AmyotEmail author
RE'09 Special Issue


Interactions between dependent or conflicting aspects are a well-known problem with aspect-oriented development (as well as related paradigms). These interactions are potentially dangerous and can lead to unexpected or incorrect results when aspects are composed. To date, the majority of aspect interaction detection methods either have been based on purely syntactic comparisons or have relied on heavyweight formal methods. We present a new approach that is based instead on lightweight semantic annotations of aspects. Each aspect is annotated with domain-specific markers and a separate influence model describes how semantic markers from different domains influence each other. Automated analysis can then be used both to highlight semantic aspect conflicts and to trade-off aspects. We apply this technique to early aspects, namely, aspect scenarios, because it is desirable to detect aspect interactions as early in the software lifecycle as possible. We evaluate the technique using two case studies—one from industry and one posed as a challenge problem by the community—and show that the technique detects interactions that cannot be discovered using syntactic techniques. In addition, we show that the technique can apply to many languages through the use of different aspect-oriented scenario notations in the case studies, namely, MATA sequence diagrams and Aspect-oriented Use Case Maps.


Aspects Goal-oriented Requirement Language Interaction detection Semantic interactions MATA Sequence diagrams UML User Requirements Notation Aspect-oriented Use Case Maps 



Aspect-oriented modeling


Aspect-oriented software development


Aspect-oriented Use Case Maps


Car crash crisis management system


Critical pair analysis


Electronic voting system


Goal-oriented Requirement Language


International Telecommunication Union-Telecommunications Standardization Sector


Modeling Aspects Using a Transformation Approach


Non-functional requirement


Personal identification number


Sequence diagram


Software defined radio


Semantic markers


Unified Modeling Language


User Requirements Notation


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SITEUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Department of Computing, InfoLab21Lancaster UniversityLancasterUK

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