Dynamic package interfaces

Shahram Esmaeilsabzali, Rupak Majumdar, Thomas Wies, Damien Zufferey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

A hallmark of object-oriented programming is the ability to perform computation through a set of interacting objects. A common manifestation of this style is the notion of a package, which groups a set of commonly used classes together. A challenge in using a package is to ensure that a client follows the implicit protocol of the package when calling its methods. Violations of the protocol can cause a runtime error or latent invariant violations. These protocols can extend across different, potentially unboundedly many, objects, and are specified informally in the documentation. As a result, ensuring that a client does not violate the protocol is hard. We introduce dynamic package interfaces (DPI), a formalism to explicitly capture the protocol of a package. The DPI of a package is a finite set of rules that together specify how any set of interacting objects of the package can evolve through method calls and under what conditions an error can happen. We have developed a dynamic tool that automatically computes an approximation of the DPI of a package, given a set of abstraction predicates. A key property of DPI is that the unbounded number of configurations of objects of a package are summarized finitely in an abstract domain. This uses the observation that many packages behave monotonically: the semantics of a method call over a configuration does not essentially change if more objects are added to the configuration. We have exploited monotonicity and have devised heuristics to obtain succinct yet general DPIs. We have used our tool to compute DPIs for several commonly used Java packages with complex protocols, such as JDBC, HashSet, and ArrayList.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFundamental Approaches to Software Engineering - 17th International Conference, FASE 2014, Held as Part of the European Joint Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software, ETAPS 2014, Proceedings
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Pages261-275
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9783642548031
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Event17th International Conference on Fundamental Approaches to Software Engineering, FASE 2014 - Held as Part of the European Joint Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software, ETAPS 2014 - Grenoble, France
Duration: Apr 5 2014Apr 13 2014

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume8411 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Other

Other17th International Conference on Fundamental Approaches to Software Engineering, FASE 2014 - Held as Part of the European Joint Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software, ETAPS 2014
CountryFrance
CityGrenoble
Period4/5/144/13/14

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

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  • Cite this

    Esmaeilsabzali, S., Majumdar, R., Wies, T., & Zufferey, D. (2014). Dynamic package interfaces. In Fundamental Approaches to Software Engineering - 17th International Conference, FASE 2014, Held as Part of the European Joint Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software, ETAPS 2014, Proceedings (pp. 261-275). (Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics); Vol. 8411 LNCS). Springer Verlag. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-54804-8_18