The Quantum Frontier of Software Engineering: A Systematic Mapping Study

by   Manuel De Stefano, et al.

Context. Quantum computing is becoming a reality, and quantum software engineering (QSE) is emerging as a new discipline to enable developers to design and develop quantum programs. Objective. This paper presents a systematic mapping study of the current state of QSE research, aiming to identify the most investigated topics, the types and number of studies, the main reported results, and the most studied quantum computing tools/frameworks. Additionally, the study aims to explore the research community's interest in QSE, how it has evolved, and any prior contributions to the discipline before its formal introduction through the Talavera Manifesto. Method. We searched for relevant articles in several databases and applied inclusion and exclusion criteria to select the most relevant studies. After evaluating the quality of the selected resources, we extracted relevant data from the primary studies and analyzed them. Results. We found that QSE research has primarily focused on software testing, with little attention given to other topics, such as software engineering management. The most commonly studied technology for techniques and tools is Qiskit, although, in most studies, either multiple or none specific technologies were employed. The researchers most interested in QSE are interconnected through direct collaborations, and several strong collaboration clusters have been identified. Most articles in QSE have been published in non-thematic venues, with a preference for conferences. Conclusions. The study's implications are providing a centralized source of information for researchers and practitioners in the field, facilitating knowledge transfer, and contributing to the advancement and growth of QSE.


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