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Title: An approach to source-code plagiarism detection investigation using latent semantic analysis
Author: Cosma, Georgina
ISNI:       0000 0001 3388 9318
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis looks at three aspects of source-code plagiarism. The first aspect of the thesis is concerned with creating a definition of source-code plagiarism; the second aspect is concerned with describing the findings gathered from investigating the Latent Semantic Analysis information retrieval algorithm for source-code similarity detection; and the final aspect of the thesis is concerned with the proposal and evaluation of a new algorithm that combines Latent Semantic Analysis with plagiarism detection tools. A recent review of the literature revealed that there is no commonly agreed definition of what constitutes source-code plagiarism in the context of student assignments. This thesis first analyses the findings from a survey carried out to gather an insight into the perspectives of UK Higher Education academics who teach programming on computing courses. Based on the survey findings, a detailed definition of source-code plagiarism is proposed. Secondly, the thesis investigates the application of an information retrieval technique, Latent Semantic Analysis, to derive semantic information from source-code files. Various parameters drive the effectiveness of Latent Semantic Analysis. The performance of Latent Semantic Analysis using various parameter settings and its effectiveness in retrieving similar source-code files when optimising those parameters are evaluated. Finally, an algorithm for combining Latent Semantic Analysis with plagiarism detection tools is proposed and a tool is created and evaluated. The proposed tool, PlaGate, is a hybrid model that allows for the integration of Latent Semantic Analysis with plagiarism detection tools in order to enhance plagiarism detection. In addition, PlaGate has a facility for investigating the importance of source-code fragments with regards to their contribution towards proving plagiarism. PlaGate provides graphical output that indicates the clusters of suspicious files and source-code fragments.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QA76 Electronic computers. Computer science. Computer software