An investigation of the on-line debugging process of expert and novice student programmers Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/0k225d52r

Descriptions

Attribute NameValues
Creator
Abstract or Summary
  • Debugging, the process of locating and correcting errors in a computer program, is a common programming task that is not well understood. Of the several debugging studies reported in the literature, most compared the performance differences between expert and novice programmers by measuring their debug time and the number of errors found and corrected; a few provided information about their debugging process. This dissertation investigates the on-line debugging process of expert and novice student programmers by means of protocol analysis. This dissertation describes three debugging experimentations that were conducted to understand the debugging process and were used as the basis for a cognitive model of subjects' on-line debugging behavior. In the three experiments subjects debugged a defective Pascal program seeded with several errors on a Apple Macintosh computer. Some of the major results obtained through this research work are summarized below: Experts employed a comprehension approach in which they first attempted to understand the program and then used this knowledge for finding the bugs. Intermediates and novices employed an isolation approach in which they immediately attempted to identify candidate bug locations by searching the output for clues, recalling similar bugs, and testing program states. Experts corrected multiple errors before verifying the corrections while novices corrected and verified single errors. Novices corrected the semantic errors first and then the logic errors while experts corrected both semantic and logic errors at the same time. Experts were more efficient in correcting all of the errors, modified fewer statements, and did not introduce more errors. Novices did not correct all of the errors, made very extensive modifications and introduced many new errors. Program understanding played a key role in locating and correcting logic errors. Experts' superiority in locating and correcting errors was due to their better (a) overall understanding of the program, (b) ability to identify program segment containing the error, and (c) ability to select a correct error hypothesis.
Resource Type
Date Available
Date Copyright
Date Issued
Degree Level
Degree Name
Degree Field
Degree Grantor
Commencement Year
Advisor
Academic Affiliation
Non-Academic Affiliation
Subject
Rights Statement
Peer Reviewed
Language
Digitization Specifications
  • File scanned at 300 ppi (Monochrome) using Capture Perfect 3.0.82 on a Canon DR-9080C in PDF format. CVista PdfCompressor 4.0 was used for pdf compression and textual OCR.
Replaces
Additional Information
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Kim Stowell (ksscannerosu@gmail.com) on 2013-05-24T21:40:38Z No. of bitstreams: 1 NanjaMurthi1988.pdf: 887146 bytes, checksum: 8b9ff4339253830690b45bf528771db9 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2013-07-15T17:50:39Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 NanjaMurthi1988.pdf: 887146 bytes, checksum: 8b9ff4339253830690b45bf528771db9 (MD5) Previous issue date: 1988-01-18
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2013-05-29T18:47:58Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 NanjaMurthi1988.pdf: 887146 bytes, checksum: 8b9ff4339253830690b45bf528771db9 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2013-07-15T17:50:39Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 NanjaMurthi1988.pdf: 887146 bytes, checksum: 8b9ff4339253830690b45bf528771db9 (MD5)

Relationships

In Administrative Set:
Last modified: 08/04/2017

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
Citations:

EndNote | Zotero | Mendeley

Items