From Natural Language to Programming Language

From Natural Language to Programming Language

Xiao Liu (Pennsylvania State University, USA) and Dinghao Wu (Pennsylvania State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5969-6.ch004


Programming remains a dark art for beginners or even professional programmers. Experience indicates that one of the first barriers for learning a new programming language is the rigid and unnatural syntax and semantics. After analysis of research on the language features used by non-programmers in describing problem solving, the authors propose a new program synthesis framework, dialog-based programming, which interprets natural language descriptions into computer programs without forcing the input formats. In this chapter, they describe three case studies that demonstrate the functionalities of this program synthesis framework and show how natural language alleviates challenges for novice programmers to conduct software development, scripting, and verification.
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Programming Paradigms

On practical problem-solving, a recent study (Pane et al., 2001) reveals a preference for event-based descriptions such as statements that start with if or when. Meanwhile, a remarkable number of other paradigms are also observed such as constraint programming, declarative programming and imperative programming. Language paradigms are often discussed by researchers about their privileges and people are creating new programming environments for their specific domain of uses. We will get a closer view on these paradigms with a literature walk-through.

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