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The effectiveness of control structure diagrams in source code comprehension activities

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3 Author(s)
D. Hendrix ; Dept. of Comput. Sci. & Software Eng., Auburn Univ., AL, USA ; J. H. Cross ; S. Maghsoodloo

Recently, the first two in a series of planned comprehension experiments were performed to measure the effect of the control structure diagram (CSD) on program comprehensibility. Upper- and lower-division computer science and software engineering students were asked to respond to questions regarding the structure and execution of one source code module of a public domain graphics library. The time taken for each response and the correctness of each response was recorded. Statistical analysis of the data collected from these two experiments revealed that the CSD was highly significant in enhancing the subjects' performance in this program comprehension task. The results of these initial experiments promise to shed light on fundamental questions regarding the effect of software visualizations on program comprehensibility

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 5 )