Mathematics in Computer Science

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 355–378 | Cite as

Spurious Disambiguation Errors and How to Get Rid of Them

  • Claudio Sacerdoti CoenEmail author
  • Stefano Zacchiroli


The disambiguation approach to the input of formulae enables users of mathematical assistants to type correct formulae in a terse syntax close to the usual ambiguous mathematical notation. When it comes to incorrect formulae however, far too many typing errors are generated; among them we want to present only errors related to the formula interpretation meant by the user, hiding errors related to other interpretations.

We study disambiguation errors and how to classify them into the spurious and genuine error classes. To this end we give a general presentation of the classes of disambiguation algorithms and efficient disambiguation algorithms. We also quantitatively assess the quality of the presented error classification criteria benchmarking them in the setting of a formal development of constructive algebra.

Mathematics Subject Classification (2000).

Primary 68T99 Secondary 03B70 


Ambiguity semantic analysis user interaction metavariables 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel/Switzerland 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Laboratoire PPS, UMR 7126Université Paris DiderotParisFrance

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