ERIC Number: ED207579
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1977-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Overview of a Linguistic Theory of Design. AI Memo 383A.
Miller, Mark L.; Goldstein, Ira P.
The SPADE theory, which uses linguistic formalisms to model the planning and debugging processes of computer programming, was simultaneously developed and tested in three separate contexts--computer uses in education, automatic programming (a traditional artificial intelligence arena), and protocol analysis (the domain of information processing psychology). In the education context, an editor has been implemented that encourages students to define and debug programs in terms of explicit design choices. The editor provides a structured programming environment based on a detailed theory of the processes involved in coherently structured problem solving. In the AI context, an automatic programmer called PATN was designed using an augmented transition network embodiment of the SPADE theory. This resulted in a unified framework which clarified work on planning and debugging by Sacerdoti and Sussman. In the psychology context, a parser called PAZATN has been designed that applies the SPADE theory to the analysis of programming protocols to produce a parse delineating the planning and debugging strategies used by the problem solvers. Hand-simulations of PATN and PAZATN on elementary programming problems and informal experiments with the SPADE editor demonstrate the effectiveness of the theory in accounting for a wide range of planning and debugging techniques. Twenty-six references are listed. (Author/LLS)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Advanced Research Projects Agency (DOD), Washington, DC.; National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Massachusetts Inst. of Tech., Cambridge. Artificial Intelligence Lab.