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Re: OT: Plagiarism Monitor S/W

On Fri, Feb 07, 2003 at 01:34:31PM -0500, David Z Maze wrote:
> So, having had some experience doing this: your class has TA's, right?
> And they review the things students turn in?  When I've been a TA,
> this has caught the more gratuitous cases of cheating; having a class
> policy that code sharing is absolutely verboten esssentially forbids
> students from working together at all, which is counterproductive.  A
> sufficiently aggressive tool will result in lots of false positives,
> too, which isn't helpful.  Finally, if you do decide to go after
> students, please apply some discretion, and don't assume your tool
> infallibly detects the students' intentions...

I know one person who used to teach Compiler Construction. He had a
program that parsed the student's compiler, built a syntax tree, and
used an algorithm to compare trees. Anything over a certain level would
trigger an alarm, *and then he'd check it himself*. Such a tool wouldn't
ring the bell if a student had shared a few pieces of code with another
 -- but it'll certainly  catch the guy whose work is mostly copied from
someone else (no matter how much he changes in variable names or



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