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Sixth Working Conference on Reverse Engineering (Cat. No.PR00303) (1999)
Atlanta, Georgia
Oct. 6, 1999 to Oct. 8, 1999
ISSN: 1095-1350
ISBN: 0-7695-0303-9
pp: 145
Ali Erdem , University of Southern California
W. Lewis Johnson , University of Southern California
This paper describes a planning approach solution to the software understanding problem that focuses on the user's task and expertise. This solution is implemented in a software explanation system as follows: First, user questions about software artifacts have been studied and the most commonly asked questions are identified. These questions are organized into a question model and procedures for answering them are developed. Then the patterns in user questions during task performance have been studied and these patterns are used to build generic task models. These task models, along with a user model, are used to generate explanations tailored to the user's task and expertise. In addition, the task models allow the system to provide explicit task support in its interface.An evaluation experiment with human subjects is conducted to determine the effects of this explanation tool on software understanding. The tool is found to improve the software understanding and reduce the task performance time.
software understanding, question model, user tailoring, task model

A. Erdem and W. L. Johnson, "Task Orientation and Tailoring of Interactive Software Explanations," Sixth Working Conference on Reverse Engineering (Cat. No.PR00303)(WCRE), Atlanta, Georgia, 1999, pp. 145.
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