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DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A SOFTWARE SYSTEM FOR INTERACTIVE SCIENTIFIC COMPUTING

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000128266D
Original Publication Date: 1977-Dec-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Sep-15
Document File: 4 page(s) / 20K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Ingvar Aaro: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

The number of terminals and computer systems, enabling on-line communication between man and computer, has increased rapidly during the last few years. The effect of this has been that we may now solve problems interactively i.e. in dialogue with a computer. The idea of interactive computing is used in many fields e.g. information retrieval, editing, design, scientific com-puting etc. In scientific computing, which we will discuss, there are a great number of interactive language systems, for example BASIC, APL, SIGMA etc. An excellent survey of such systems may be found in e.g. [21 or 151. These systems are powerful tools for programmers who want to solve problems interactively. How-ever, a non programmer or a casual user having a non-trivial problem is not helped by these systems but needs systems which in an easy way give a solu-tion to his problem. This may be achieved by designing special purpose systems. Such systems, which we will call interactive programs, are designed for one type of problem, e.g. data-fitting by least squares, solution of differential equations etc. Presently there is a great interest in interactive scientific programs and many such programs have been developed. However, the programming effort to implement interactive programs is usually considerable, especially if the user interface must be tailored to the problem and to the user group. It is remarkable that despite the great interest and the.implementation problems one hears very little about general tools for creating various types of inter-active programs. Why? Most probably this depends on the fact that interactive programs are developed by applications programmers and problems concerning this type of programs stay within that group and never reach computer scien-tists. Computer scientists on the other hand think that the interactive languages BASIC, APL etc. are the. tools needed. This thesis shows that the facilities provided by conventional programming languages and by interactive language systems must be completed in order to make it easy to create various types of interactive programs. In addition, a software system, which facilitate the programming of interactive Fortran programs, is described. The system called TIC is designed as a tool-box and contains facilities for the following types of interaction models: - question-answering dialogue. This dialogue type means that the user is guided by the program.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A SOFTWARE SYSTEM FOR INTERACTIVE SCIENTIFIC COMPUTING

by Ingvar Aaro

TRITA-NA-7707

(Summary of the author's doctoral thesis) The thesis consists of this summary and the following papers by the author:

[A] "Interaction ModeLs", TRITA-NA-77o4, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm

(B] "Design and IPVZementation of a TooZ for Interactive Communication between User and Program", TRITA-NA-7705, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm I

(C] "TIC - A Toot for Interactive Communication between User and Program, Programer's Guide", TRITA-NA-7627, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm

"Syntax and Semantics of TIC", TRITA-TNA-7629, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm (Appendix to report TRITA-INA-7627)

1. INTRODUCTION

The number of terminals and computer systems, enabling on-line communication between man and computer, has increased rapidly during the last few years. The effect of this has been that we may now solve problems interactively i.e. in dialogue with a computer. The idea of interactive computing is used in many fields e.g. information retrieval, editing, design, scientific com-puting etc.

In scientific computing, which we will discuss, there are a great number of interactive language systems, for example BASIC, APL, SIGMA etc. An excellent survey of such systems may be found in e.g. [21 or 151. These systems are powerful tools for programmers who want to solve problems interactively. How-ever, a non programmer or a casual user having a non-trivial problem is not helped by these systems but needs systems which in an easy way give a solu- tion to his problem. This may be achieved by designing special purpose systems. Such systems, which we will call interactive programs, are designed for one type of problem, e.g. data-fitting by least squares, solution of differential equations etc.

Presently there is a great interest in interactive scientific programs and many such programs have been developed. However, the programming effort to implement interactive programs is usually considerable, especially if the user interface must be tailored to the problem and to the user group. It is remarkable that despite the great interest and the.implementation problems one hears very little about general tools for creating various types of inter-active programs. Why? Most probably this depends on the fact that interactive programs are developed by applications programmers and problems concerning this type of programs stay within that group and never reach computer scien-tists. Computer scientists on the other hand think that the interactive languages BASIC, APL etc. are the. tools needed.

The Royal Institute of Technology Page 1 Dec 31, 1977

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DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A SOFTWARE SYSTEM FOR INTERACTIVE SCIENTIFIC COMPUTING

This thesis shows that the facilities provided by conventional programming languages and by interactive language s...