Word completion

Word completion

Word completion is a common feature in web browsers and similar text entry contexts. When a user begins the entry of a frequently-used word, the computer automatically completes it, or proposes a list of choices.

uccessful example of word completion in browsers

For an example of a relatively successful application of word completion, consider entering "www.microsoft.com" in the address box of a browser. A user may find that typing "www.mi" is sufficient. The completions database in use in this case is the user's browser history. "www.microsoft.com" would be a commonly offered completion. However, other completions maybe available, with potential privacy implications, as this list may reveal the browsing history of other users of the computer.Similar problems may occur when word completion is used inpredictive text systems as in the example identified by [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:MeNext user:MeNext] in a predictive text system ITAP marketed by Motorola, which uses word completion.

Examples of word completion in general text editing

Word completion can be ineffective foruse in predictive text systems. Word completion works well only if there are a small number of possible items to search through. As discussed above, such is the case when entering urls in a browser.But for unrestricted text entry, word completion can be animpediment. A word-completion system requires that the user, after each keystroke, calculates whether it is better to keep on typing to decrease thesize of the word-completion list, or examine the best choices presented to try to find their word.This mental effort is often ignored since it is much easierto think simply about counting keystrokes. However the effect of mental computation is real, andcauses throughput to decrease rather than increase.Some early work in this area was done by Dunlop and Crossan [ cite|web|url=http://www.springerlink.com/content/uvp7168q26lq443n/|title=Predictive text entry methods for mobile phones ] .

The efficiency of word completion is based on the average length of the words typed. Fact|date=August 2007 If, for example, the text consists of programming languages which often have LongNamesForSpecialFunctions(), completion is both useful and generally applied in editors specially geared towards programmer such as Vim.

Consider for example entry of the word "soccer" with a wordcompletion system, coupled to a reasonably large dictionary of English.This gives the following result:

A user might reasonably guess that stopping at "soc" and then looking thougha list of possible completions would find the word "soccer" more quicklythan typing the rest of the letters, "cer". Unfortunately, this guess ignores manycommon words such as "sock" "socket" "society" "social", as well asuncommon words such as socorro or socrates.

In different languages, word lengths can differ dramatically. Picking up on the above example, a soccer player in German is translated as a "Fussballspieler", with a length of 15 character.

This example illustrates that English is not an ideal language for WC; this study [http://www.tug.org/TUGboat/Articles/tb16-3/tb48soj2.pdf] shows an average length for English words in a corpus of over 100,000 words to be 8.9, for Hungarian to be 10.5 and for German to be 13.2. In addition, in some languages like German called fusional languages as well as agglutinative languages, words can be combined, creating even longer words.

Examples of word completion

*OpenOffice Writer has a working word completion program that proposes words previously typed in the text, rather than from the whole dictionary
*The majority of programming directed text editors such as Vim have different levels of completion procedures

*Microsoft Excel spreadsheet application has a working word completion program that proposes words previously typed in upper cells

See also

* Line completion


* [http://www.thefeaturearchives.com/topic/Technology/Adaptive_Disambiguation.html Article in "The Feature" with relevant discussion.]

* [http://www.springerlink.com/content/uvp7168q26lq443n/ Predictive text entry methods for mobile phones, Dunlop and Crossan, Personal and Ubiquitous Computing Publisher Springer London. Issue Volume 4, Numbers 2-3 / June, 2000 Pages 134-143]

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