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Using Objects of Measurement to Detect Spreadsheet Errors

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journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2005, 00:00 by Michael Coblenz, Andrew Ko, Brad Myers

There are many common spreadsheet errors that traditional spreadsheet systems do not help users find. This paper presents a statically-typed spreadsheet language that adds additional information about the objects that the spreadsheet values represent. By annotating values with both units and labels, users denote both the system of measurement in which the values are expressed as well as the properties of the objects to which the values refer. This information is used during computation to detect some invalid computations and allow users to identify properties of the resulting values.