The context of this work is introductory electrical engineering circuit analysis courses. A program has been developed which generates circuit analysis problems typical of such courses. It also generates detailed, error-free solutions using the techniques taught in these courses. This includes random topologies, and not just element values.
The practice of generating questions with random element values is already common place and some work has also been done on generating random topologies (Whitlatch et al. 2012). The aim of this work is to produce a more comprehensive system which covers most of the techniques taught in a first course on circuit analysis. The problems will also be generated completely from scratch and include solutions. This work could then be integrated into a Computer-Aided Instruction (CAI) system for students. It could also be used by instructors to generate exam or tutorial questions or could be included in a quiz system where students are presented with questions with different topologies but similar difficulties to discourage copying answers.
The system has been developed with reference to the course material used at Monash University, and particularly with reference to introductory circuit analysis textbooks. The aim has been to generate questions like those found in textbooks. Importantly this includes generating detailed solutions which can step a student through the problems in the same manner as textbook examples.
The system is capable of generating a range of problems. It supports nodal analysis, mesh analysis, resistor simplification, ohm’s law, Kirchhoff’s voltage law (KVL), Kirchhoff’s current law (KCL), voltage division and current division. It can provide the user with an endless supply of new and unique problems which cover any of the above techniques they wish to study or test. This could be of use as an alternative to textbook questions, and could be integrated into an online system where additional features could be implemented, such as picking up student errors as soon as they are made instead of only when they check the solution.
New algorithms are presented which generate circuit analysis problems and find solutions to those problems. The problems and solutions are typical of introductory circuit analysis textbooks and cover a range of the circuit analysis techniques taught in introductory courses. These algorithms can be used to generate problems that meet the exact needs of a particular student or test.
Computer-aided instruction, linear circuit analysis