A Labeled Transition Model A-LTS for History-Based Aspect Weaving and Its Expressive Power

Isao YAGI  Yoshiaki TAKATA  Hiroyuki SEKI  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E90-D   No.5   pp.799-807
Publication Date: 2007/05/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1093/ietisy/e90-d.5.799
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Automata and Formal Language Theory
Keyword: 
labeled transition system,  pushdown automaton,  formal model,  aspect-oriented programming,  AspectJ,  

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Summary: 
This paper proposes an event-based transition system called A-LTS. An A-LTS is a simple system consisting of two agents, a basic program and a monitor. The monitor observes the behavior of the basic program and if the behavior matches some pre-defined pattern, then the monitor interrupts the execution of the basic program and possibly triggers the execution of another specific program. An A-LTS models a common feature found in recent software technologies such as Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP), history-based access control and active database. We investigate the expressive power of A-LTS and show that it is strictly stronger than finite state machines and strictly weaker than pushdown automata (PDA). This implies that the model checking problem for A-LTS is decidable. It is also shown that the expressive power of A-LTS, linear context-free grammar and deterministic PDA are mutually incomparable. We also discuss the relationship between A-LTS and pointcut/advice in AOP.