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Syntactic/semantic interactions in programmer behavior: A model and experimental results


This paper presents a cognitive framework for describing behaviors involved in program composition, comprehension, debugging, modification, and the acquisition of new programming concepts, skills, and knowledge. An information processing model is presented which includes a long-term store of semantic and syntactic knowledge, and a working memory in which problem solutions are constructed. New experimental evidence is presented to support the model of syntactic/semantic interaction.

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Shneiderman, B., Mayer, R. Syntactic/semantic interactions in programmer behavior: A model and experimental results. International Journal of Computer and Information Sciences 8, 219–238 (1979).

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Key words

  • Programming
  • programming languages
  • cognitive models
  • program composition
  • program comprehension
  • debugging
  • modification
  • learning
  • education
  • information processing