October 19, 2015: Seminar - Dr. Collin McMillan: "Towards Automated Source Code Summarization"


Towards Automated Source Code Summarization

Dr. Collin McMillan
University of Notre Dame
Monday October 19, 2015
11:00 a.m., Room 1000 SEO Building


Source Code Summarization is an emerging technology for producing readable natural language descriptions of source code.??Automated summarization offers an opportunity to dramatically improve programmer productivity by reducing the amount of source code that programmers must read, and by producing documentation for otherwise obscure code. Current techniques for code summarization are conceptually similar to natural language summarization: they work by selecting a subset of the statements and keywords in a section of code, and including information from those statements and keywords in a summary.??But two problems limit the performance of these techniques.??First, little is known about how programmers summarization source code manually. Second, assumptions valid for natural language summarization may not be valid in source code.??This talk will discuss our ongoing work to address these problems.??We start with a study of professional programmers asked to write summaries of source code manually.??An eye-tracking apparatus recorded eye movements and reading behaviors. The idea is to develop algorithms to mimic these behaviors to produce summaries automatically.??Two approaches we developed and evaluated from these results are discussed, and ongoing improved strategies are proposed.


Dr. Collin McMillan is an Assistant Professor at the University of Notre Dame.??He completed his Ph.D. in 2012 at the College of William & Mary, focusing on source code search and traceability technologies for program reuse and comprehension.??Since joining Notre Dame, his work has focused on source code summarization and efficient reuse of executable code.??Dr. McMillan's work has been supported by SimVentions Inc. and the Virginia Space Grant Consortium, and recognized by the Stephen K. Park Award.

Host: Mark Grechanik

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