Understanding and Debugging Novice Programs

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2 Author(s)

Accurate identification and explication of program bugs requires an understanding of the programmer's intentions. This paper describes a system called PROUST which performs intention-based diagnosis of errors in novice PASCAL programs. The technique used involves generating possible goal decompositions for the program, matching them against the program, and then proposing bugs and misconceptions to explain the mismatches, Empirical studies of PROUST's performance show that it achieves high performance in finding bugs in nontrivial student programs