Cognitive Tutor Authoring Tools 2.0 > CTAT Basics > CTAT Preferences

5. CTAT Preferences

5.1. Behavior Graph Options

CTAT provides a number of options that affect Example-tracing tutor behavior for a single behavior graph (BRD) file. For a given graph, each option is either true (checked) or false (unchecked).

To modify a behavior graph option:

  1. Click the Graph menu at the top of CTAT.

  2. Toggle one of the graph options by selecting it from the bottom of the menu.

The available behavior graph options are defined in Section 5.2.2, “Behavior Graph”.

5.2. Global Preferences

5.2.1. General

These options affect the behavior of CTAT generally.

Use Dialog System

Enables communication with a natural language system. [NEED DETAILS -BML]

Invoke Browser on External URL

Invokes the computer's default browser whenever the student traverses a link marked with [TBS]. The URL is formed by combining the External URL for Link Traversal (defined below) and link-specific data.

External URL for Link Traversal

The base URL used for links that specify invoking a web browser. This URL is only valid if the Invoke Browser on External URL option is turned on.

Log to Remote Server

If enabled, logging messages will be sent to server whose URL is defined in the preference Logging Server URL (below).

Logging Server URL

URL of the logging server. For PSLC experiments, this is typically a LearnLab server.

Log to Disk

If enabled, logging messages will be stored in text files on the local hard disk of the machine running the tutor. The location for storing these files is determined by the Disk Logging Directory preference. If the Use Login Window preference is enabled, disk logs will be named using the student's username as the first part of the file name; otherwise, the system log-in name will be used in the file name.

Disk Logging Directory

A path for the directory in which disk logging files will be stored. This item is only valid if Log to Disk is enabled. For relative paths, the path is relative to the parent of the folder from which the current student interface was loaded. For example, if the student interface is in {CTAT}/Projects/Interface, the specified path is relative to {CTAT}/Projects. To log to this folder, use '.' (without quotes).

Use Login Window

If enabled, a CTAT log-in window will be presented to the student before they can use the tutor. The log-in window prompts for a username and password for the purposes of logging, though only username is required. Neither username or password is authenticated in CTAT 2.0. Using the log-in window in combination with the Log to Disk preference ensures that the student-entered username will be used in the file name of the log file.

Default Projects Folder

The default top-level folder for files created while authoring. If this preference is not set, the Problems Organizer will not be used in Save and Open dialogs. Relative paths are relative to the folder from which the current student interface was loaded. If the value is empty or no interface is loaded, the location is relative to the current working directory.

Cognitive Model Folder

The default location for CTAT to check for cognitive model files. Unless explicitly set, this folder is set to the folder from which the current Java student interface was loaded, or the folder from which the last behavior graph was loaded.

5.2.2. Behavior Graph

Behavior graph preferences are default options to be used for new behavior graphs. To change these preferences for a single graph, see Section 5.1, “Behavior Graph Options”

Case Sensitive Exact Matching

If enabled, student input during tutoring must match the case of the input recorded in the graph for the input to be considered correct. This setting applies to Exact Matches only; other types of input matching (e.g., wildcard, regular expression) are not affected.

Suppress Student Feedback

If enabled, no feedback is given to the student during tutoring. This feature is commonly used for online testing.

Unordered Mode

If enabled, the top-level group of the behavior graph is 'unordered'. In a graph with no other ordering constraints (ie, groups), this means that a student can perform the actions recorded in the graph in any order; otherwise the actions must be performed in the order shown in the graph, from start state to done state. See Section 2.2.3, “Link Groups and Ordering Constraints” for more information.

Lock Widgets on Correct Action

If enabled, a student's correct input to a widget will lock that widget. Otherwise, the student is able to change a widget's value after a correct answer. Enabled by default.

5.2.3. Behavior Recorder

These options affect the behavior of CTAT's Behavior Recorder.

Highlight Right Working widget

Affects ordered groups in Example-tracing tutors only. If enabled, a warning is displayed to the student if that student interacts with a widget not specified in the next correct link of the graph. During this warning, the widget for the next correct action will be highlighted.

Use Group Dragging

If enabled, dragging one node in the graph will drag all child nodes; otherwise, only the one node will move.

Allow Changing Preferred Path

If enabled, links in the graph can be designated as preferred, customizing the preferred problem-solving path. Enabled by default.

Enable Link Traversal Counts

If enabled, the Behavior Recorder will count link traversals in demonstrate mode, and display them in the graph.

Always Link Similar States

While demonstrating an alternate path, you may demonstrate a step that matches If enabled, the Behavior Recorder will never prompt you about whether or not to link states when it detects that the current state of the student interface matches an existing state in the behavior graph; instead, the Behavior Recorder will always link the similar states. If this preference is disabled, the Behavior Recorder will always ask whether to link to a similar existing state, or to create a new state.

Allow Tool-Performed Actions

If enabled, you can define links in the graph that the tutor will perform (see Section 2.2.2, “Student- and Tool-Performed Actions”). Enabled by default.

5.2.4. Production Rule Editor

These preferences specify whether or not Eclipse should be used for production rule editing and if so, how CTAT should connect to it.

Use Eclipse as default Jess file editor

If enabled, a new menu item, Open Jess File, will appear in the CTAT File menu; and clicking this menu item will prompt CTAT to communicate with plugins in the Eclipse IDE for editing files containing Jess production rules, templates, or facts.

Eclipse Plugin Listening Port

The listening port of the Eclipse IDE plugin for communicating with CTAT. Default port is 6060.

Authoring Tools Listening Port

The listening port of CTAT for communicating with the Eclipse plugin. Default port is 6161.

5.2.5. Jess Console

These preferences affect the Jess Console for Cognitive Tutors (Jess).


Turns on chaining in the Jess Console.


Turns on Firable options in the Jess Console.

Break on Exceptions

Break when an exception occurs in the Jess Console.

5.2.6. Conflict Tree

These preferences affect the Conflict Tree for Cognitive Tutors (Jess).

Maximum Depth of Tree

The maximum number of times a rule can be chained to another. Default number is 5.

Maximum Number of Bug Rules

The maximum number of bug rules displayed in the Conflict Tree. Default number is 4.

Use Salience

If enabled, the production system will interpret salience defined in production rules. See the Jess Wiki page on salience usage tips for more information.