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An Extensible Domain-Specific Language for Describing Problem-Solving Procedures

Bastiaan Heeren and Johan Jeuring

An intelligent tutoring system (ITS) is often described as having an inner loop for supporting solving tasks step by step, and an outer loop for selecting tasks. Many task domains have problem-solving procedures that express how tasks can be solved by applying steps or rules in a controlled way. In this paper we collect established ITS design principles, and use the principles to compare and evaluate existing ITS paradigms with respect to the way problem-solving procedures are specified. We argue that problem-solving procedures need an explicit representation, which is missing in most ITSs. We present an extensible domain-specific language (DSL) that provides a rich vocabulary for accurately describing procedures. We give three examples of tutors from different task domains that illustrate our DSL approach and highlight important qualities such as modularity, extensibility, and reusability.

In Proceedings of Artificial Intelligence in Education: 18th International Conference, AIED 2017, pages 77-89, 2017.

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