Readability metrics for program code: how is reading ease reflected in gaze?

James H. Paterson, Katrin Hartmann

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    This paper describes a range of models that have been proposed for the readability of program code. We consider ways in which eye movements can be used to provide evidence for the validity of these models. It is proposed that gaze metrics based on fixation count and duration may correlate with readability scores. We also consider the prospects for developing a model based on gaze to measure readability. The usefulness to educators of measures of readability is discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationReports and Studies in Forestry and Natural Sciences: Eye Movements in Programming: Models to Data, Proceedings of the Third International Workshop
    EditorsRoman Bednarik, Teresa Busjahn, Carsten Schulte, Sascha Tamm
    Place of PublicationJoenssu, Finland
    PublisherUniversity of Eastern Finland
    Number of pages2
    ISBN (Print)9789526120409, 17985684
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • eye tracking
    • code reading
    • readability
    • computing education

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Computer Science


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    • EMIP: The eye movements in programming dataset

      Bednarik, R., Busjahn, T., Gibaldi, A., Ahadi, A., Bielikova, M., Crosby, M., Essig, K., Fagerholm, F., Jbara, A., Lister, R., Orlov, P., Paterson, J., Sharif, B., SirkiäFIn, T., Stelovsky, J., Tvarozek, J., Vrzakova, H. & van der Linde, I., 15 Oct 2020, In: Science of Computer Programming. 198, 11 p., 102520.

      Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

      16 Citations (Scopus)

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