On the Use of Programming Knowledge to Understand Informal Process Description
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA MARINA DEL REY INFORMATION SCIENCES INST
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The goal of improving and simplifying communication with computers has been pursued largely through the creation and use of better formal languages. This report investigates an alternative approach by exploring the variety and extent of informal constructs which can be introduced into a formal language without impairing communication. These informal constructs represent the suppression of certain explicit information which must be inferred from the surrounding context. In general, each informal construct has several possible interpretations, only one on which was intended by the speaker. The systems task is to use the existing context to focus attention on a small ordered subset of the most probable alternatives and to further reduce it by applying any constraints or well-formedness rules. The most probable remaining alternative is selected as the intended one. Program descriptions were chosen as the example task domain to test this approach because its rules of context and well- formedness are fairly well developed.
- Computer Programming and Software
- Computer Hardware
- Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems