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Authors: Witten, Ian H.
Maulsby, David L.
Keywords: Computer Science
Issue Date: 1-Jan-1988
Abstract: A system is described for programming by example, graphically, which enables untrained end-users to add composite operations to a drawing program using constructive methods traditionally employed in drafting. A pilot experiment showed that considerable extraneous activity occurs in naturally-produced traces. To combat this, full advantage is taken of the interactive situation to constrain induction by suppressing, or at least controlling, variability. A Flatland device called "Meta-Mouse" serves to concentrate the user's attention on the job of teaching a student with limited capabilities. It predicts actions, asks for constructions, solicits input parameters when required, and induces a program (including conditionals and loops). Its behaviors force and help the teacher to satisfy appropriate felicity conditions. Implications for machine learning include the benefits of simulating a pupil to complete the teaching metaphor, and the positive role that close user interaction can play in constraining the search for apt generalizations.
Appears in Collections:Witten, Ian
Maulsby, David

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