Vi-XFST : a visual interface for xerox finite-state toolkit
Yılmaz, Yasin (2003) Vi-XFST : a visual interface for xerox finite-state toolkit. [Thesis]
This thesis presents a management model and integrated development environment software for finite-state network projects using Xerox Finite-State Toolkit (XFST). XFST is a popular command line tool to construct finite-states networks, used in natural language processing research. However, XFST lacks various sophisticated management features to help the development phase of large projects where there are hundreds of finite-state definitions. In this thesis, we introduce a new approach to XFST finite-state development: The source files are handled in a visual workspace associated with a project, and the project is developed step by step interactively by the user just like contemporary software development projects. Vi-XFST, the software we have created for our development model, includes automatic dependency tracking, source file management, visual regular expression construction, definition management and network testing features. With Vi-XFST, a textual file editing is replaced with a project-building concept similar to modern software development tools. The benefits of adopting an integrated development environment designed for finite-state development include productivity gains by substantial reduced time for debug and management. The visual features of Vi-XFST enable viewing complex networks at different levels of detail and make even large projects manageable and comprehensible.
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