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Strategies in object-oriented design

Sophie Chatel 1 Françoise Détienne 1
1 EIFFEL2 - Cognition and Cooperation in Design
Inria Paris-Rocquencourt, CNAM - Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers [CNAM]
Abstract : This paper presents a study aiming to analyse the design strategies of experts in object-oriented programming. We report an experiment conducted with four experts. Each subject solved three problems. Our results show that three strategies may be used in program design according to the solution structure. An object-centred strategy and a function-centred strategy are used when the solution has a hierarchical structure with vertical communication between objects. In this case, the plan which guides the design activity is declarative. A procedure-centred strategy is used when the solution has a flat structure with horizontal communication between objects. In this case, the plan which guides the design activity is procedural. These results are discussed in relation with results on design strategies in procedural design. Furthermore, our results provide insight into the knowledge structures of experts in object-oriented design. To conclude, we point out limitations of this study and discuss implications of our results for Human-Computer Interaction systems, in particular for systems assisting experts in their design activity.
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Sophie Chatel, Françoise Détienne. Strategies in object-oriented design. Acta Psychologica, Elsevier, 1996, 91, pp.245-269. ⟨inria-00118171v2⟩

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