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Dark programming and the case for the rationality of programs
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Departement of Computing Science.
2008 (English)In: Journal of Applied Logic, ISSN 1570-8683, Vol. 6Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Programming normally proceeds from subjective method to objective method: to program a task, you need to be able to do the task; at least “in principle.” Some new techniques of producing programs, exemplified by evolutionary algorithm techniques, do not involve any such subjective method. Is this still programming, and are the results really programs? To answer, the concept of program is reexamined. It is argued that in addition to being causative and descriptive, a program must also be rationally justifiable, i.e., the specific structure of the program should be explainable by the (rational) ways in which it contributes to achieving the intended goal. Whereas traditional programming is rational in the sense that it provides the program with a rationale by its reliance on subjective method and problem solving, these new techniques of “dark programming” do not produce any rationale; moreover, the results are not restricted to be easily rationalized. Dark programs are not guaranteed to be proper programs, but dark programming can still be used as a tool in proper (rational) programming. The business of programming then takes a turn from problem solving in the sense of invention and engineering towards problem solving in the sense of explanation and research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 6
Keyword [en]
dark programming, subjective method, rationality of programs, justifiability
National Category
Computer Science Human Computer Interaction
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-20954DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jal.2008.09.003OAI: diva2:210085
Available from: 2009-03-30 Created: 2009-03-30

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