Intelligent Program Analysis

Gregory R. Ruth,     Project MAC, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. 02139, U.S.A.


In order to examine the possibilities of using a computer as an aid to teaching programming, a prototype intelligent program analyzer has been constructed. Its design assumes that a system cannot analyze a program unless it can “understand” it; understanding being based on a knowledge of what must be accomplished and how code is used to express the intentions.It was found that a one-page description of two common sorting algorithms or of some common approximation problems was sufficient for the computer to understand and analyze a wide variety of programs and identify and describe almost all errors. ...

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