The Meta in Meta-object Architectures

Denker, Marcus; Suen, Mathieu; Ducasse, Stéphane (2008). The Meta in Meta-object Architectures. In: Paige, Richard F.; Meyer, Bertrand (eds.) Objects, Components, Models and Patterns. Proceedings. Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing: Vol. 11 (pp. 218-237). Heidelberg: Springer Verlag 10.1007/978-3-540-69824-1_13

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Behavioral reflection is crucial to support for example functional upgrades, on-the-fly debugging, or monitoring critical applications. However the use of reflective features can lead to severe problems due to infinite metacall recursion even in simple cases. This is especially a problem when reflecting on core language features since there is a high chance that such features are used to implement the reflective behavior itself. In this paper we analyze the problem of infinite meta-object call recursion and solve it by providing a first class representation of meta-level execution: at any point in the execution of a system it can be determined if we are operating on a meta-level or base level so that we can prevent infinite recursion. We present how meta-level execution can be represented by a meta-context and how reflection becomes context-aware. Our solution makes it possible to freely apply behavioral reflection even on system classes: the meta-context brings stability to behavioral reflection. We validate the concept with a robust implementation and we present benchmarks.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Computer Science (INF)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Computer Science (INF) > Software Composition Group (SCG)

UniBE Contributor:

Denker, Marcus


000 Computer science, knowledge & systems




Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing


Springer Verlag




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Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:22

Last Modified:

03 Oct 2017 20:04

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URI: (FactScience: 206778)

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