Queue-based cost evaluation of mental simulation process in program comprehension

M. Nakamura, Akito Monden, T. Itoh, K. Matsumoto, Y. Kanzaki, H. Satoh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present a method to estimate the cost of mental (hand) simulation of programs. In mental simulation, human short term memory is extensively used to recall and memorize values of variables. When the simulation reaches a variable reference, the simulation can be performed easily if the value is still remembered. However, if not, we have to backtrack the simulation until the value is obtained, which is time consuming. Taking the above observation into consideration, we first present a model, called virtual mental simulation model (VMSM), which exploits a queue representing short term memory. The VMSM takes one of the abstract processes recall or backtrack, depending on whether the variable is currently stored in the queue or not. Then, applying cost functions to the VMSM, we derive four dynamic metrics reflecting the cost of mental simulation. In our empirical study, the proposed VMSM metrics reveal that the backtrack process for nonconstant variables gives a significant impact on the cost of mental simulation. Since the proposed method can be fully automated, it can provide a practical means to estimate the cost of mental simulation, which can be also used as a program comprehension measure.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - International Software Metrics Symposium
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages351-360
Number of pages10
Volume2003-January
ISBN (Print)0769519873
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes
Event9th International Software Metrics Symposium - Sydney, Australia
Duration: Sep 3 2003Sep 5 2003

Other

Other9th International Software Metrics Symposium
CountryAustralia
CitySydney
Period9/3/039/5/03

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Costs
Data storage equipment
Cost functions

Keywords

  • Computational modeling
  • Computer crime
  • Computer hacking
  • Computer simulation
  • Cost function
  • Debugging
  • Humans
  • Information science
  • Programming profession
  • Protection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software

Cite this

Nakamura, M., Monden, A., Itoh, T., Matsumoto, K., Kanzaki, Y., & Satoh, H. (2003). Queue-based cost evaluation of mental simulation process in program comprehension. In Proceedings - International Software Metrics Symposium (Vol. 2003-January, pp. 351-360). [1232480] IEEE Computer Society. https://doi.org/10.1109/METRIC.2003.1232480

Queue-based cost evaluation of mental simulation process in program comprehension. / Nakamura, M.; Monden, Akito; Itoh, T.; Matsumoto, K.; Kanzaki, Y.; Satoh, H.

Proceedings - International Software Metrics Symposium. Vol. 2003-January IEEE Computer Society, 2003. p. 351-360 1232480.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Nakamura, M, Monden, A, Itoh, T, Matsumoto, K, Kanzaki, Y & Satoh, H 2003, Queue-based cost evaluation of mental simulation process in program comprehension. in Proceedings - International Software Metrics Symposium. vol. 2003-January, 1232480, IEEE Computer Society, pp. 351-360, 9th International Software Metrics Symposium, Sydney, Australia, 9/3/03. https://doi.org/10.1109/METRIC.2003.1232480
Nakamura M, Monden A, Itoh T, Matsumoto K, Kanzaki Y, Satoh H. Queue-based cost evaluation of mental simulation process in program comprehension. In Proceedings - International Software Metrics Symposium. Vol. 2003-January. IEEE Computer Society. 2003. p. 351-360. 1232480 https://doi.org/10.1109/METRIC.2003.1232480
Nakamura, M. ; Monden, Akito ; Itoh, T. ; Matsumoto, K. ; Kanzaki, Y. ; Satoh, H. / Queue-based cost evaluation of mental simulation process in program comprehension. Proceedings - International Software Metrics Symposium. Vol. 2003-January IEEE Computer Society, 2003. pp. 351-360
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