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An Oracle for Object-Oriented Programmers

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Credit: Courtesy of MIT

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers working in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have developed Matchmaker, a system that automatically determines how objects in a large software project interact so it can inform new objects which functions they will need to perform.

The system could be especially useful to programmers working with open source software, whose licensing terms require that its underlying code be publicly disclosed. Matchmaker uses the names of two objects in a network and describes how to get them to interact with each other, building up a database of object linkages in the program's source code by monitoring the program's execution.

To test the system, the researchers studied eight programmers, asking each of them to perform the same task, which required linking up two different types of objects. Four of the programmers were allowed to use Matchmaker, while the other four were not. The test showed that the programmer who completed the task fastest without Matchmaker still took longer than the slowest of the programmers who used the new system, says MIT professor Armando Solar-Lezama.

From MIT News
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