PPIG 2000 - 12th Annual Workshop
Uncovering Effects of Programming Paradigms: Errors in Two Spreadsheet Systems
Markku Tukiainen
Abstract: Empirical studies of spreadsheet programming have commonly shown high over all error rates but much less attention has been paid to reasons for these errors. One often mentioned cause for errors is the low conceptual level of spreadsheet systems. By changing the conceptual level of spreadsheet system, we wanted to study whether this will produce different type of errors compared to traditional spreadsheet systems. In this paper we present an empirical study comparing the traditional spreadsheet calculation paradigm with the structured spreadsheet calculation paradigm that utilizes goals, plans and spreadsheet data structures in computation. The results show that the error behavior of novice spreadsheet users is systematically different between paradigms.