Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Computer Science

First Advisor

Park, Young Gil,


Computer Science.




Software reuse is recognized as one of the promising techniques to improve software development. A central problem associated with object-oriented software reuse is how to effectively search and retrieve the desired components from a class library. This thesis proposes a methodology of execution-based retrieval. By alternatively executing a test program on each class in a class library, the proposed retrieval system tries to locate those classes whose behaviours are similar to the desired behavior. The system organizes the user-input test data into a test program. Then, it dynamically executes each message in the test program on each class in the class library to find the match information for the class which includes the numbers of matched methods and non-matched methods. The very basic execution is trying to find a match between a message and a class method in the argument numbers and orders, the arguments' types and values, and the return types and values. If a match is not achieved for a message, the system will search the superclasses of the executed class to find a match. Finally, two strategies are implemented to retrieve the candidate classes by examining the match information of the classes. A retrieval engine is implemented in Java with client/server module and multithreading feature. Several GUIs are provided for input and output, and also for validating the user input or selection. By searching classes in a class library, the system is tying to find the candidate classes with the desired behavior if they exist, or find the best approximation relative to the desired behavior if no such class exists. Also, candidate classes can be narrowed down by repeating execution on the previous results. The retrieval system also provides the functionality of class browsing, insertion and deletion. It is the first time that a methodology of execution-based retrieval of object-oriented components and its full-integrated implementation are provided.Dept. of Computer Science. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1999 .N58. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 39-02, page: 0530. Adviser: Young Gil Park. Thesis (M.Sc.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1999.