Novel triplex procedure for ranking the ability of software engineering students based on two levels of AHP and group TOPSIS techniques

O. Zughoul, A. A. Zaidan, B. B. Zaidan, O. S. Albahri, M. Alazab, U. Amomeni, A. S. Albahri, Mahmood M. Salih, R. T. Mohammed, K. I. Mohammed, F. Momani, B. Amomeni

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Ranking the strengths and weaknesses of software engineering students in software development life cycle (SDLC) process level is a challenging task owing to (1) data variation, (2) multievaluation criteria, (3) criterion importance and (4) alternative member importance. According to the existing literature, no specified procedure can rank the ability of software engineering students based on SDLC process levels to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of each student. This study aims to present a novel triplex procedure for ranking the ability of software engineering students to address the literature gap. The methodology of the proposed work is presented on the basis of three phases. In the identification phase, four steps are implemented, namely, processing dataset, identifying the criteria, distributing the courses to the software engineering body of knowledge and proposing the pre-decision matrix (DM). The data comprise the GPA and soft skills from 60 software engineering students who graduated from Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris in 2016. In the pre-processing phase, three steps are involved as follows. Analytic hierarchy process (AHP) is first used to assign weights to the courses and then multiply the assigned weight by courses, which is the first procedure in the proposed work. In this phase, the construction of DM is presented based on multimeasurement criteria (GPA and soft skills), with SDLC process levels as alternatives. In the development phase, AHP is used again to weight the multimeasurement criteria, and this is the second procedure. In such case, the coordinator and head of the software engineering department are consulted to obtain subjective judgments for each criterion. Technique for order performance by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS) is then used to rank the students, which is the third procedure. In the validation, statistical analysis is performed to validate the results by checking the accuracy of the systematic ranking. Results show that (1) integrating AHP and group TOPSIS is suitable for ranking the ability of students. (2) The 60 students are categorized into five ranking groups based on their strength level: 14 collector requirements, 13 designers, 5 programmers, 13 testers and 15 maintenances. (3) Significant di®erences are observed between the groups' scores for each level of SDLC, indicating that the ranking results are identical for all levels.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)67-135
    JournalInternational Journal of Information Technology and Decision Making
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2021


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