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How do we read algorithms? A case study

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2 Author(s)
Crosby, M.E. ; Dept. of Inf. & Comput. Sci., Hawaii Univ., Honolulu, HI, USA ; Stelovsky, J.

The authors report on an experiment that explored the way subjects view an algorithm, written in Pascal, and the graphical representation of its behavior. They designed the experiment to examine the influence of programming experience on how subjects view a short but complex algorithm, and they analyzed the scan patterns of eye movement for subjects at two experience levels. They describe the experimental procedure in detail, and discuss the results. An important finding was that all subjects needed numerous fixations in most areas of the algorithm and spent more time viewing relevant slide areas than did subjects in studies using simple text. This supports the hypothesis that viewing strategies for algorithms differ from those for prose.<>

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:23 ,  Issue: 1 )