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Validating a Demonstration Tool for Graphics-Assisted Debugging of Ada Concurrent Programs
March 1989 (vol. 15 no. 3)
pp. 305-313

A demonstration-quality graphics-assisted debugger is developed for intertask communication in Ada. Based on the static task-specification diagrams of G. Booch, the debugger animates the activity of a collection of communicating tasks, and it runs on a DEC GIGI terminal connected to a VAX 11-780 under TeleSoft's partial Ada compiler. The model has been subjected to empirical validation, using undergraduate students as experimental subjects. Subjects were required to debug erroneous tasking programs using both the graphical debugger and a textual one. It is concluded that although the problems to be addressed in the development and evaluation of a graphical debugging tool for Ada tasks are nontrivial, the benefits could be worth the effort.

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Index Terms:
demonstration tool; graphics-assisted debugging; Ada concurrent programs; intertask communication; static task-specification diagrams; communicating tasks; DEC GIGI terminal; VAX 11-780; partial Ada compiler; tasking programs; graphical debugger; Ada; computer graphics; parallel programming; program debugging; program verification; software tools.
M.B. Feldman, M.L. Moran, "Validating a Demonstration Tool for Graphics-Assisted Debugging of Ada Concurrent Programs," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 305-313, March 1989, doi:10.1109/32.21758
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