Word Embeddings for the Software Engineering Domain

Presenter: Vasiliki Efstathiou
Date: 24 April 2018


The software development process produces vast amounts of textual data expressed in natural language. Outcomes from the natural language processing community have been adapted in software engineering research for leveraging this rich textual information; these include methods and readily available tools, often furnished with pre–trained models. State of the art pre–trained models however, capture general, common sense knowledge, with limited value when it comes to handling data specific to a specialized domain. There is currently a lack of domain-specific pre–trained models that would further enhance the processing of natural language artefacts related to software engineering. To this end, we release a word2vec model trained over 15GB of textual data from Stack Overflow posts. We illustrate how the model disambiguates polysemous words by interpreting them within their software engineering context. In addition, we present examples of fine-grained semantics captured by the model, that imply transferability of these results to diverse, targeted information retrieval tasks in software engineering and motivate for further reuse of the model.