Presentation of paper on "pitfalls in aspect mining" at the Working Conference on Reverse Engineering (WCRE), Antwerp, Belgium, 2008.
The research domain of aspect mining studies the problem of (semi-)automatically identifying potential aspects and crosscutting concerns in a software system, to improve the system’s comprehensibility or enable its migration to an aspect-oriented solution. Unfortunately, most proposed aspect mining techniques have not lived up to their expectations yet. In this paper we provide a list of problems that most aspect mining techniques suffer from and identify some of the root causes underlying these problems. Based upon this analysis, we conclude that many of the problems seem to be caused directly or indirectly by the use of inappropriate techniques, a lack of rigour and semantics on what is being mined for and how, and in how the results of the mining process are presented to the user.