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Studying Cognitive Processes in Computer Program Comprehension

  • Roman Bednarik
  • Justus Randolph
Part of the Signals and Commmunication Technologies book series (SCT)

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Binomial Distribution Visual Attention Visual Analysis Binomial Test Program Comprehension 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roman Bednarik
    • 1
  • Justus Randolph
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and StatisticsUniversity of JoensuuJoensuuFinland

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