# Using Students as Experiment Subjects An Analysis on Graduate and Freshmen Student Data

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5 The dispersion analysis shows less consistent results. The dispersion in the freshmen group is not reduced in size estimation accuracy and productivity, while the graduate student group has reduced dispersion on the yield. The freshmen group tends to reduce the dispersion in the step from PSP1 to PSP2 while the graduate student group reduces the dispersion already in the step from PSP0 to PSP1. The median improvements from PSP0 to PSP2 are in the same magnitude of order for the three groups, as presented in Table 7. The exception is the effort estimation accuracy, for which the freshmen improve a factor of 14.9, while graduate students and industry people improve a factor of 3.0 and 1.75 respectively. TABLE 7. Median improvement from PSP 0 to PSP2 Area Industry Size Estimation Accuracy Effort Estimation Accuracy Overall Defect Density Compile Defect Density Test Defect Density Pre-Compile Defect Yield 45% 39% 50% Productivity (0.86) No gain or loss It can be concluded that there are no other significant differences between the groups with respect to their improvement within the PSP context. Next question to study is whether the performance metrics show any statistical differences. 3.4 Performance study In order to further investigate the differences between the groups, the metrics for the different development performance characteristics, collected in the PSP, are compared for the freshmen students and the graduate students. The reduced access to industry data makes it impossible to make the same comparison to the industry group. The following metrics are compared: Size of program, measured in LOC Total development time in minutes Productivity, measured in LOC per hour Total number of defects Defect density, measured as number of defects per LOC Error intensity, measured as number of defects per development hour For each of the metrics, a t-test is conducted to test the null hypothesis that the performance is the same for freshmen students and graduates students. Further, the mean percentage difference between the groups are calculated according to the following formula: Ffreshmen ( ) Diff = F( graduate) where F = [Size, Time, Prod, Defects, Density, Intensity] The relative improvement is analyzed and no absolute values. Hence, the variety of languages used does not impact on the size difference. The analyses are summarized in Table 8, where * refers to significance level of 0.9 and ** refers to significance level of TABLE 6. Summary of results in the improvement analysis. Mean Dispersion Area Size Estimation Accuracy PSP0 vs. PSP1 PSP1 vs. PSP2 PSP0 vs. PSP1 PSP1 vs. PSP2 Industry Industry X a X X X Effort Estimation Accuracy X X X X Overall Defect Density X X X X b X X Compile Defect Density X X X X X X X X X Test Defect Density X X X X X X X Pre-Compile Defect Yield X X X X Productivity X X X X X a. Only for the reduction validation approach b. Only for the fill-in validation approach

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