2021 IEEE 18th International Conference on Software Architecture (ICSA) | 2021

ArCode: Facilitating the Use of Application Frameworks to Implement Tactics and Patterns



Software designers and developers are increasingly relying on application frameworks as first-class design concepts. They instantiate the services that frameworks provide to implement various architectural tactics and patterns. One of the challenges in employing frameworks for such tasks is the difficulty of learning and correctly using the APIs of the frameworks. This paper introduces a learning-based approach called ARCODE to help novice programmers correctly use frameworks’ APIs to implement architectural tactics and patterns. ARCODE has several novel components: a graph-based approach for learning specification of a framework from a limited number of training software, a program analysis algorithm to eliminate erroneous training data, and a recommender module to help programmers use APIs correctly and identify API misuses in their program. We evaluated our technique across two popular frameworks: JAAS security framework used for authentication and authorization tactic and Java RMI framework used to enable remote method invocation between client and server and other object oriented patterns. Our results demonstrate (i) the feasibility of using ARCODE to learn the specification of a framework; (ii) ARCODE generates accurate recommendations for finding the next API call to implement an architectural tactic/pattern based on the context of the programmer’s code; (iii) it accurately detects API misuses in the code that implements a tactic/pattern and provides fix recommendations. We also demonstrate that ArCode outperforms two famous techniques, MAPO and GrouMiner, on API recommendation and misuse detection tasks.

Volume None
Pages 138-149
DOI 10.1109/ICSA51549.2021.00021
Language English
Journal 2021 IEEE 18th International Conference on Software Architecture (ICSA)

Full Text