Why Don't They Do What We Want Them to Do

Shmuel Schwarz; Mordechai Ben-Ari

This paper describes an investigation into the factors affecting a student’s decision whether to construct a state transition diagram in order to verify the correctness of a concurrent program, or whether to verbally verify the program. We conjectured that the advantages of the visual formal tool would cause it to be adopted as a routine part of the students’ practice, but in fact the verbal description was the dominant method of their practice. This paper describes the reasoning that the students used in choosing a proof method. Psychological factors such as personal commitment and evaluation of effort turned out to be more important than the appropriateness of the tool for achieving the goal.

Type of Publication: Paper
Conference: PPIG 2006 - 18th Annual Workshop
Publication Year: 2006
Paper #: 6
TitleWhy Don't They Do What We Want Them to Do
Publication TypePaper
AuthorsSchwarz, S, Ben-Ari, M
PPIG Workshop: 
2006-09-18th