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Comparison of Contrasting Prolog Trace Output Formats

Patel, Mukesh J., du Boulay, Benedict, Taylor, Chris (1997) Comparison of Contrasting Prolog Trace Output Formats. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 47 (2). pp. 289-322. ISSN 1071-5819. (doi:10.1006/ijhc.1997.0119) (KAR id:21542)


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
DOI/Identification number: 10.1006/ijhc.1997.0119
Uncontrolled keywords: Prolog, tracers
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 76 Software, computer programming,
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Computing
Depositing User: Mark Wheadon
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2009 17:19 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 09:59 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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