Object Acquaintance Selection and Binding

Document type: Researchreports
Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text:
Author(s): Jan Bosch
Title: Object Acquaintance Selection and Binding
Series: Research Report
Year: 1996
Issue: 13
ISSN: 1103-1581
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: Dept. of Telecommunications and Mathematics (Institutionen för telekommunikation och matematik)
Dept. of Telecommunications and Mathematics S-371 79 Karlskrona
+46 455 780 00
Authors e-mail: Jan.Bosch@ide.hk-r.se
Language: English
Abstract: Large object-oriented systems have, at least, four characteristics that complicate object communication, i.e the system is distributed and contains large numbers, e.g. thousands, of objects, objects need to be reallocated at run-time and objects can be replaced by other objects in order to adapt to the dynamic changes in the system. Traditional object communication is based on sending a message to a receiver object known to the sender of the message. At linking or instantiation time, an object establishes its acquaintances through name/class-based binding and uses these objects through its life time. If this is too rigid, the software engineer has to implement the binding of objects manually using pointers. In our experiments we found the traditional acquaintance communication semantics too limited and we identified several problems, related to the reusability of objects and selection mechanisms, understandability and expressiveness. We recognised that it is important to separate a class or object's requirements on its acquaintances from the way an object selects and binds its acquaintances in actual systems. Based on this observation, we studied the required expressiveness for acquaintance handling and identified four relevant aspects: type and duration of binding, conditions for binding, number of selected objects and selection region for binding. To implement these aspects, we defined acquaintance layers as part of the layered object model. Acquaintance layers uniformly extend the traditional object-oriented acquaintance handling semantics and allow for the first-class representation of acquaintance selection and binding, thereby increasing traceability and reusability.
Subject: Computer Science\General
Software Engineering\General
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-00007