AS path is one of the most fundamental attributes of a (e)BGP advertisments. Its length is the first parameter in the best path selection algorithm (shorter is better), and it's also the sole mechanism of loop detection (if an AS is seen twice, there's a loop). However, despite the important role it plays behind the scenes, it's rather underutilized in routing policies.
A lot of time when prefix-list or specific route-map rule options such as next-hop can do, route filtering and modification based on AS path can do it better.
Let's see how to use it.