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Supporting developers with natural language queries


Würsch, M; Ghezzi, G; Reif, G; Gall, H C (2010). Supporting developers with natural language queries. In: 32nd ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering, Cape Town, South Africa, 2 May 2010 - 2 May 2010, 165-174.

Abstract

The feature list of modern IDEs is growing steadily and mastering these tools becomes more and more demanding, especially for novice programmers. Despite their remarkable capabilities, IDEs often still cannot directly answer the questions that arise during program comprehension tasks. Instead developers have to map their questions to multiple concrete queries that can be answered only by combining several tools and examining the output of each of them manually to distill an appropriate answer. Existing approaches have in common that they are either limited to a set of predefined, hardcoded questions, or that they require to learn a specific query language only suitable for that limited purpose. We present a framework to query for information about a software system using guided-input natural language resembling plain English. For that, we model data extracted by classical software analysis tools with an OWL ontology and use knowledge processing technologies from the Semantic Web to query it. We also present a case study that demonstrates how our framework can be used to answer queries about static source code information for program comprehension purposes.

Abstract

The feature list of modern IDEs is growing steadily and mastering these tools becomes more and more demanding, especially for novice programmers. Despite their remarkable capabilities, IDEs often still cannot directly answer the questions that arise during program comprehension tasks. Instead developers have to map their questions to multiple concrete queries that can be answered only by combining several tools and examining the output of each of them manually to distill an appropriate answer. Existing approaches have in common that they are either limited to a set of predefined, hardcoded questions, or that they require to learn a specific query language only suitable for that limited purpose. We present a framework to query for information about a software system using guided-input natural language resembling plain English. For that, we model data extracted by classical software analysis tools with an OWL ontology and use knowledge processing technologies from the Semantic Web to query it. We also present a case study that demonstrates how our framework can be used to answer queries about static source code information for program comprehension purposes.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Informatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
Language:English
Event End Date:2 May 2010
Deposited On:28 Feb 2011 09:06
Last Modified:12 Aug 2017 19:24
Free access at:Related URL. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/1806799.1806827
Related URLs:http://www.ifi.uzh.ch/pax/index.php/publication/show/id/1272 (Author)

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