PPIG 2001 - 13th Annual Workshop
An Open-Source Analysis Schema for Identifying Software Comprehension Processes
Michael P. O'Brian, Teresa M. Shaft, Jim Buckley
Abstract: This paper presents an analysis schema for talk-aloud protocols, which distinguishes between bottomup and two variants of top-down comprehension (as originally described by Brooks and Soloway et al). The first is ‘expectation-based’ comprehension, where the programmer has pre-generated hypotheses of the code's meaning before studying the code segments. The second variant is ‘inference-based’ comprehension, where the programmer derives hypotheses from clichéd implementations in the code.
The schema is placed in the context of other talk-aloud analysis schemas. It is described in detail, allowing other researchers replicate the protocol and assess the generality of its findings. A brief description of an experiment, which uses this schema, is also included.