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MS Final Exam – Marjan Adeli

Facilitating Code Comprehension by Annotations in Canvas-Based IDE

Developers spend a considerable amount of time comprehending code and building accurate mental models of the code. Understanding the relationships between software features within IDEs is difficult, with information split across different visual hierarchies making navigation cumbersome. Canvas-based IDEs mitigate some of the navigation costs by allowing relevant information to be presented in groups. However, these groups have no explicit way of capturing and sharing the meaning of different spatial layouts. In this thesis, we present annotations in a canvas-based IDE called Synectic to address this concern. Synectic allows users to arrange relevant information in groups, attach meaning to the arrangement, and externalize thoughts and relationships between artifacts through annotations. To study the effects of these annotations on comprehension, we conducted a user study of newcomers performing code comprehension tasks comparing Synectic and Eclipse. The res! ults show annotations in Synectic increase the developer's accuracy while reducing cognitive load during newcomer comprehension tasks.

Major Advisor: Anita Sarma
Committee: Amir Nayyeri
Committee: Rakesh Bobba
GCR: Leonard Coop

Thursday, March 19 at 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Kelley Engineering Center, 2057
110 SW Park Terrace, Corvallis, OR 97331

Event Type

Lecture or Presentation

Event Topic

Research

Organization
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Contact Name

Dakota Nelson

Contact Email

eecs.gradinfo@oregonstate.edu

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