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Semantic Software Lab
Concordia University
Montréal, Canada

Automatic Quality Assessment of Source Code Comments: The JavadocMiner

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Title{Automatic Quality Assessment of Source Code Comments: The JavadocMiner}
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsKhamis, N., R. Witte, and J. Rilling
Refereed DesignationRefereed
EditorsHopfe, C. J., Y. Rezgui, E. Métais, A. D. Preece, and H. Li
Conference Name15th International Conference on Applications of Natural Language to Information Systems (NLDB 2010)
Tertiary TitleLecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS)
Date PublishedJune 23--25
Conference LocationCardiff, UK
ISBN Number978-3-642-13880-5

An important software engineering artefact used by developers and maintainers to assist in software comprehension and maintenance is source code documentation. It provides insights that help software engineers to effectively perform their tasks, and therefore ensuring the quality of the documentation is extremely important. Inline documentation is at the forefront of explaining a programmer's original intentions for a given implementation. Since this documentation is written in natural language, ensuring its quality needs to be performed manually. In this paper, we present an effective and automated approach for assessing the quality of inline documentation using a set of heuristics, targeting both quality of language and consistency between source code and its comments. We apply our tool to the different modules of two open source applications (ArgoUML and Eclipse), and correlate the results returned by the analysis with bug defects reported for the individual modules in order to determine connections between documentation and code quality.


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