Incremental, Informal Program Acquisition

Brian P. McCune

Program acquisition is the transformation of a program specification into an executable, but not necessarily efficient, program that meets the given specification. This paper presents a solution to one aspect of the program acquisition problem, the incremental construction of program models from informal descriptions, in the form of a framework that includes (1) a formal language for expressing program fragments that contain informalities, (2) a control structure for the incremental recognition and assimilation of such fragments, and (3) a knowledge base of rules for acquiring programs specified with informalities.

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