Studying Cognitive Processes in Computer Program Comprehension
Computer programming is a cognitively demanding task [127,257]. Programmers have to constantly apply their knowledge and skills to acquire and maintain a mental representation of a program. Modern programming environments (sometimes called integrated development environments (IDE)) often present, in several adjacent windows, the information related to the actual program. These windows often contain a variety of representations of the program (e.g. the program text or a visualization of program variables), all of which need to be taken into consideration by the programmer. Investigating a programmer’s visual attention to these different representations can lead to insights about how programmers acquire the skill of program comprehension, which is considered to be the crux of successful computer programming. Research questions related to the role of visual attention during program comprehension might focus, for instance, on whether visual attention patterns differentiate good and poor comprehenders, or what are the specific features of a program text that skilled programmers attend while debugging a flawed program.
KeywordsBinomial Distribution Visual Attention Visual Analysis Binomial Test Program Comprehension
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