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An Investigation of Knowledge Gaps of Graduate Students Regarding Safety-Critical Systems Development: A Controlled Experiment

: Leite, Ana Isabella Muniz; Lagoa, Lucas; Lopes, Samuel; Braga, Rosana; Antonino, Pablo Oliveira; Nakagawa, Elisa Yumi


IEEE transactions on education (2021), Online First, 9 S.
ISSN: 0018-9359
Fraunhofer IESE ()
experimental research; safety-critical systems; software architecture; software engineering education

Contribution: This article details the conduction of an experiment to investigate the knowledge that computer science graduate students have about safety-critical systems development, in particular, safety requirements specifications. Future research directions are also discussed. Background: Safety-critical systems have been increasingly used in many critical domains, requiring a rigorous development process as well as certification by regulatory agencies. However, it is not clear whether computer science courses deliver adequate education for students to develop such systems. Experimental research with these students could provide evidence on whether they have the minimum knowledge necessary to develop safety-critical systems. This type of research presents several advantages, such as reproducibility, high-level control, and specific conclusions, but has not been widely adopted to verify learning issues. Research Question: How to measure the understanding of students on safety-critical systems development?