ACE: A Syntax-Directed Editor Customizable from Examples and Queries

Yuji TAKADA  Yasubumi SAKAKIBARA  Takeshi OHTANI  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E75-D   No.4   pp.487-498
Publication Date: 1992/07/25
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Issue on Algorithmic Learning Theory)
syntax-directed editor,  algorithmic and interactive customization,  learning grammars,  designing grammars,  

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Syntax-directed editors have several advantages in editing programs because programming is guided by the syntax and free from syntax errors. Nevertheless, they are less popular than text editiors. One of the reason is that they force a priori specified editing structures on the user and do not allow him to use his own structure. ACE (Algorithmically Customizable syntax-directed Editor) provides a solution for this problem by using a technique of machine learning; ACE has a special function of customizing the grammar algorithmically and interactively based on the learning method for grammars from examples and queries. The grammar used in the editor is customized through interaction with the user so that the user can edit his program in a more familiar structure. The customizing function has been implemented based on the methods for learning of context-free grammars from structural examples, for which the correctness and the efficiency are proved formally. This guarantees the soundness and the efficiency of customization. Furthermore, ACE can be used as an algorithmic and interactive tool to design grammars, which is required for several purposes such as compiler design and pretty-printer design.