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A Comparative Study of Exception Handling Mechanisms for Building Dependable Object-Oriented Software

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Alexander RomanovskyORCiD



Modern object-oriented systems have to cope with an increasing number of exceptional conditions and incorporate fault tolerance activities in order to meet the system's dependability requirements. With such systems growing in size and complexity, employing error-handling techniques while satisfying the requirements of software quality, such as maintainability and reusability, are still deep concerns to engineers of dependable object-oriented systems. An exception handling mechanism is one of the most important schemes for detecting and recovering errors, and structuring the fault tolerance activities incorporated in a system. However, the current lack of suitable exception handling mechanisms can make an application non-reliable and difficult to understand, maintain and reuse in the presence of faults. The purpose of our paper is to investigate the applicability of the existing exception mechanisms of object-oriented programming languages for developing dependable object-oriented software with effective quality attributes. The major contributions of this article are: (i) the definition of a taxonomy which is used to discuss nine functional aspects of an exception mechanism and to distinguish one mechanism from another, (ii) the presentation of a comprehensive survey of existing exception mechanisms implemented in object-oriented languages, (iii) the comparison and evaluation of the investigated mechanisms as well as the identification of the primary limitations in applying them in practice to develop dependable object-oriented systems, (iv) the definition of a set of adequate design solutions and an ideal exception handling model for exception mechanisms suitable for dependable object-oriented software, and (v) the identification of current trends related to exception handling and dependable object-oriented software.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Garcia F, Rubira-Calsavara CMF, Romanovsky A, Xu J

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: Department of Computing Science Technical Report Series

Year: 2000

Pages: 50

Report Number: 714

Institution: Department of Computing Science, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Place Published: Newcastle upon Tyne