Accession Number : ADA297983

Title :   Assessing Digital Circuit Design.

Descriptive Note : Final rept. 1 May 91-30 Apr 95,

Corporate Author : VANDERBILT UNIV NASHVILLE TN LEARNING TECHNOLOGY CENTER

Personal Author(s) : Goldman, Susan R. ; Biswas, Gautam

PDF Url : ADA297983

Report Date : 16 AUG 1995

Pagination or Media Count : 45

Abstract : Cognitive diagnosis of expertise relies on characterizing expertise in the domain of interest. The focus of this project was on characterizing and assessing design problem solving in the area of digital circuit design. A combination of think-aloud protocols and computer traces of subject problem-solving behavior was used to elucidate the cognitive processes involved in designing combinational and complex sequential circuits. The project had four components: (1) study the differences between experts and intermediates in solving combinational circuit problems, (2) characterize planning behavior and its impact on the quality of solutions for combinational circuits, (3) validate the effectiveness of traces collected by a design tool in assessing problem- solving behavior for combinational circuits, and (4) characterize and assess problem-solving behavior for complex sequential circuits. The combinational circuit studies revealed local planning in problem solving but little global planning, mainly because of the routine nature of the design process. Unlike other domains re ported in the literature, clear differences between intermediate and expert problem solving did not emerge. On the other hand, the complex sequential circuit design problem revealed significant differences between expert, intermediate, and novice problem solvers. Problem solving was successfully modeled by integrating three cognitive models of human design: (1) problem decomposition, (2) transformation and iterative refinement, and (3) analogy/prototype models.

Descriptors :   *COMPUTER AIDED DESIGN, *CIRCUITS, *COMPUTER AIDED DIAGNOSIS, DIGITAL SYSTEMS, GLOBAL, COMPUTERS, COGNITION, PROTOTYPES, PROBLEM SOLVING, DIAGNOSIS(GENERAL), DECOMPOSITION, CIRCUIT TESTERS.

Subject Categories : Electrical and Electronic Equipment
      Computer Programming and Software

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE