Quantifying programmers' mental workload during program comprehension based on cerebral blood flow measurement: A controlled experiment

Takao Nakagawa, Yasutaka Kamei, Hidetake Uwano, Akito Monden, Kenichi Matsumoto, Daniel M. German

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Program comprehension is a fundamental activity in software development that cannot be easily measured, as it is performed inside the human brain. Using a wearable Near Infra-red Spectroscopy (NIRS) device to measure cerebral blood flow, this paper tries to answer the question: Can the measurement of brain blood-flow quantify programmers' mental workload during program comprehension activities? We performed a controlled experiment with 10 subjects; 8 of them showed high cerebral blood flow while understanding strongly obfuscated programs (requiring high mental workload). This suggests the possibility of using NIRS to measure the mental workload of a person during software development activities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication36th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE Companion 2014 - Proceedings
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages448-451
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781450327688
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014
Event36th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE 2014 - Hyderabad, India
Duration: May 31 2014Jun 7 2014

Publication series

Name36th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE Companion 2014 - Proceedings

Other

Other36th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE 2014
CountryIndia
CityHyderabad
Period5/31/146/7/14

Fingerprint

Flow measurement
Blood
Near infrared spectroscopy
Software engineering
Brain
Experiments

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software

Cite this

Nakagawa, T., Kamei, Y., Uwano, H., Monden, A., Matsumoto, K., & German, D. M. (2014). Quantifying programmers' mental workload during program comprehension based on cerebral blood flow measurement: A controlled experiment. In 36th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE Companion 2014 - Proceedings (pp. 448-451). (36th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE Companion 2014 - Proceedings). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/2591062.2591098

Quantifying programmers' mental workload during program comprehension based on cerebral blood flow measurement : A controlled experiment. / Nakagawa, Takao; Kamei, Yasutaka; Uwano, Hidetake; Monden, Akito; Matsumoto, Kenichi; German, Daniel M.

36th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE Companion 2014 - Proceedings. Association for Computing Machinery, 2014. p. 448-451 (36th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE Companion 2014 - Proceedings).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Nakagawa, T, Kamei, Y, Uwano, H, Monden, A, Matsumoto, K & German, DM 2014, Quantifying programmers' mental workload during program comprehension based on cerebral blood flow measurement: A controlled experiment. in 36th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE Companion 2014 - Proceedings. 36th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE Companion 2014 - Proceedings, Association for Computing Machinery, pp. 448-451, 36th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE 2014, Hyderabad, India, 5/31/14. https://doi.org/10.1145/2591062.2591098
Nakagawa T, Kamei Y, Uwano H, Monden A, Matsumoto K, German DM. Quantifying programmers' mental workload during program comprehension based on cerebral blood flow measurement: A controlled experiment. In 36th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE Companion 2014 - Proceedings. Association for Computing Machinery. 2014. p. 448-451. (36th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE Companion 2014 - Proceedings). https://doi.org/10.1145/2591062.2591098
Nakagawa, Takao ; Kamei, Yasutaka ; Uwano, Hidetake ; Monden, Akito ; Matsumoto, Kenichi ; German, Daniel M. / Quantifying programmers' mental workload during program comprehension based on cerebral blood flow measurement : A controlled experiment. 36th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE Companion 2014 - Proceedings. Association for Computing Machinery, 2014. pp. 448-451 (36th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE Companion 2014 - Proceedings).
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