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Challenge Problems for Separation of Concerns Jonathan Aldrich

Summary: Challenge Problems for Separation of Concerns
Jonathan Aldrich
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
University of Washington
Box 352350, Seattle, WA 98195 USA
A number of techniques have been proposed to achieve a better separation of concerns in programming
systems. How does one evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of the various alternatives, and offer guidance
to the designers of future systems? This paper proposes a set of challenge problems for separation of
concerns, each of which deals with different types or dimensions of concerns. Drawing from my
experience with large, high-level object-oriented systems and from the separation of concerns literature,
this paper classifies separation of concerns problems into a number of categories and chooses
representative examples from each. I intend to continue this work by evaluating a range of current systems
using these problems as benchmarks, and then using this experience to design better support for separation
of concerns in the context of high-level object-oriented languages like Cecil.
1 Challenge Problems
Challenge problems have long been useful in evaluating program design and implementation
techniques. Parnas [P72] proposed the KWIC system as a benchmark to evaluate designs for ease of
change, and showed that many kinds of change were easier in designs that used information hiding as a


Source: Aldrich, Jonathan - School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences