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Using attribute slicing to refactor large classes

Kirk, D. and Roper, M. and Walkinshaw, N. (2006) Using attribute slicing to refactor large classes. In: Beyond Program Slicing. Internationales Begegnungs- und Forschungszentrum fuer Informatik (IBFI), Schloss Dagstuhl, Germany.

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It can often be the case in object-oriented programming that classes bloat, particularly if the represent an ill-formed abstraction. A poorly formed class tends to be formed from disjoint sets of methods and attributes. This can result in a loss of cohesion within the class. Slicing attributes can be used to identify and make explicit the relationships between attributes and the methods that refer to them. This can be a useful tool for identifying code smells and ultimately refactoring. Attribute slicing can also be used to examine the relationships between attributes, as is the case in decomposition slicing. This paper introduces attribute slicing in the context of refactoring bloated classes.