Comparison of Contrasting Prolog Trace Output Formats

Patel, Mukesh J. and du Boulay, Benedict and Taylor, Chris (1997) Comparison of Contrasting Prolog Trace Output Formats. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 47 (2). pp. 289-322. ISSN 1071-5819 . (Full text available)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/ijhc.1997.0119

Abstract

This paper reports on a comparative study of three Prolog trace packages. 43 students of an introductory Prolog course solved 5 different Prolog programming problems in each of three different conditions (using isomorphic problem variants to disguise recurring tasks). Each of the three conditions provided subjects with static screen-snapshot-mockups derived from one of three different trace packages (''conventional'' Spy; ''graphical AND/OR tree-based'' TPM*; ''informative textual'' EPTB). When tracers explicitly displayed the information asked for in the problem, subjects solved the problems more quickly. Conversely, when trace output obscured the required information (or necessitated difficult detective work to uncover the information), solution times were longer and answers less accurate. Deciding on a ''good'' format for display is thus a task-dependent decision, and impacts directly on the user's cognitive ability to solve a problem.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Prolog, tracers
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 76 Software, computer programming,
Divisions: Faculties > Science Technology and Medical Studies > School of Computing
Depositing User: Mark Wheadon
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2009 17:19
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2014 10:30
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/21542 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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