Listen out for bugs that sing
A Northumbria University lecturer has helped devise a scheme to use music to catch computer bugs.
Dr Paul Vickers from Northumbria and Professor James Alty from Loughborough University’s Department of Computer Science have come up with an idea that would see features of computer programming languages being given short, musical themes. All similar instructions would be given related tunes so that any bug would be easily identified within the system.
“To ensure the musicality of the system and to prevent harmonic clashes we designed all the tunes so that they complemented each other,” said Paul, a principal lecturer in Informatics.
“It works because it allows the programmer to build a mental expectation of how the music should unfold over time. If the music deviates from its expected ‘score’ then that signifies the possible presence of an error (bug) in the program.”
The researchers first tested the ability of the average non-musician to distinguish differences like musical pitch using sounds similar to those made by a musical instrument. The results were good with most people able to discriminate between pitches.
They then set up software that mapped pitch and melodic contour information to structural elements in the programming language Pascal. They used similar tunes to represent similar programming instructions.
The system has already been tested with Computer Science students from Loughborough University and those who could “hear’’ the code as well as see it found more bugs than those who just had the visual representations.
A similar approach could be used in the future to open up a whole new world for visually impaired programmers by providing audio-enhanced program development systems.
Katrina Alnikizil | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...