36th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE Companion 2014), May 31 – June 7, 2014, Hyderabad, India

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Human Inputs in Software Engineering and Adaptation
New Ideas and Emerging Results
MR.1.3-4, Chair: Lilliana Pasquale
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, and Daniel M. German
(NAIST, Japan; Kyushu University, Japan; Nara National College of Technology, Japan; University of Victoria, Canada)
Publisher's Version
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.


Time stamp: 2019-12-07T23:58:26+01:00