HAL will be down for maintenance from Friday, June 10 at 4pm through Monday, June 13 at 9am. More information
Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Conference papers

The Effect of Object-Oriented Programming Expertise in Several Dimensions of Comprehension Strategies

Abstract : This study analyzes object-oriented (OO) program comprehension by experts and novices. We examine the effect of expertise in three dimensions of comprehension strategies: the scope of the comprehension, the top-down versus bottom-up direction of the processes, and the guidance of the comprehension activity. Overall, subjects were similar in the scope of their comprehension, although the experts tended to consult more files. We found strong evidence of top-down, inference-driven behaviors, as well as multiple guidance in expert comprehension. We also found evidence of execution-based guidance and less use of top-down processes in novice comprehension. Guidance by inheritance and composition relationships in the OO program was not dominant, but nevertheless played a substantial role in expert program comprehension. However, these static relationships more closely tied to the OO nature of the program were exploited poorly by novices. To conclude, these results are discussed with respect to the literature on procedural program comprehension.
Document type :
Conference papers
Complete list of metadata

Cited literature [7 references]  Display  Hide  Download

Contributor : Françoise Détienne Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - 5:50:22 PM
Last modification on : Friday, February 25, 2022 - 2:00:07 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 8:35:07 PM


Files produced by the author(s)




Jean-Marie Burkhardt, Françoise Détienne, Susan Wiedenbeck. The Effect of Object-Oriented Programming Expertise in Several Dimensions of Comprehension Strategies. Sixth International Workshop on Program Comprehension - IWPC'98, Jun 1998, Ischia, Italy. ⟨inria-00128351⟩



Record views


Files downloads