A Method to Assist the Maintenance of Object-Oriented Software Systems using Impact Analysis

M.Z. Kurian and A.S. Manjunath (India)


CSM, Impact, Ripple effect, jflex, Object OrientedSystem


The Complex nature of the relationships present in Object-Oriented system has made it complicated to understand. Inheritance, polymorphism, encapsulation, information hiding, aggregation and association combination has made maintenance of Object Oriented systems complicated. Maintenance activities often have unfore seen or unexpected effects on the system. These effects can ripple through system components complicating maintenance and testing of the system. Locating the effects of maintenance provides the maintainer with knowledge that assists in debugging and testing modified and affected components. A Comparative Software Maintenance (CSM) methodology has been developed in this study to assist in the maintenance of Object Oriented systems. Using Java as a test language, CSM locates potential side effects, ripple effects and other effects of maintenance on class structures, methods, and objects. CSM uses low-level software architecture model to capture the essence of a Java system. CSM performs either predictive, pre modification impact analysis on a Java system or post modification impact analysis on two different versions of the same OO system. An improved impact analysis procedure that determines impact of changes to the component level is presented. The results of impact analysis is applied to determine the component level testing requirements. The CSM methodology is implemented in JFlex, a software tool for OO program maintenance.

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