PPIG 2011 - 23rd Annual Workshop
The Influence of Class Structure on Program Comprehension
Ahmed Alardawi, Babak Khazaei, Jawed Siddiqi
Abstract: We report on a research that aims to investigate the effect of class structure on program comprehension. The subject groups are novices and the treatments are simple programs without class structure versus the equivalent programs with classes present; they are termed respectively as: Non-Class based programs and as Class based programs. Data was collected from three different sets of studies comprising of a total of 211 undergraduate first year computer science students from different institutions.
Some findings of these three sets of studies are put together and reported, in particular the overall results indicate that Class based programs were more understandable, readable, and accessible than the corresponding Non-Class based programs. Our findings align with and support those works that claim the cognitive benefits of the OO paradigm. Limitations and directions for future research are highlighted.