AnswerBot: an answer summary generation tool based on stack overflow

Liang Cai, Haoye Wang, Bowen Xu, Qiao Huang, Xin Xia, David Lo, Zhenchang Xing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOtherpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Software Q&A sites (like Stack Overflow) play an essential role in developers day-to-day work for problem-solving. Although search engines (like Google) are widely used to obtain a list of relevant posts for technical problems, we observed that the redundant relevant posts and sheer amount of information barriers developers to digest and identify the useful answers. In this paper, we propose a tool AnswerBot which enables to automatically generate an answer summary for a technical problem. AnswerBot consists of three main stages, (1) relevant question retrieval, (2) useful answer paragraph selection, (3) diverse answer summary generation. We implement it in the form of a search engine website. To evaluate AnswerBot, we first build a repository includes a large number of Java questions and their corresponding answers from Stack Overflow. Then, we conduct a user study that evaluates the answer summary generated by AnswerBot and two baselines (based on Google and Stack Overflow search engine) for 100 queries. The results show that the answer summaries generated by AnswerBot are more relevant, useful, and diverse. Moreover, we also substantially improved the efficiency of AnswerBot (from 309 to 8 seconds per query).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationESEC/FSE ’19 - Proceedings of the 2019 27th ACM Joint Meeting, European Software Engineering Conference and Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering
EditorsMarlon Dumas, Dietmar Pfahl, Sven Apel, Alessandra Russo
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Pages1134-1138
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781450355728
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventJoint Meeting of the European Software Engineering Conference and the ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering 2019 - Tallinn, Estonia
Duration: 26 Aug 201930 Aug 2019
Conference number: 27th
https://esec-fse19.ut.ee/

Conference

ConferenceJoint Meeting of the European Software Engineering Conference and the ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering 2019
Abbreviated titleESEC/FSE 2019
CountryEstonia
CityTallinn
Period26/08/1930/08/19
Internet address

Keywords

  • Relevant Question Retrieval
  • Stack Overflow
  • Summary Generation

Cite this

Cai, L., Wang, H., Xu, B., Huang, Q., Xia, X., Lo, D., & Xing, Z. (2019). AnswerBot: an answer summary generation tool based on stack overflow. In M. Dumas, D. Pfahl, S. Apel, & A. Russo (Eds.), ESEC/FSE ’19 - Proceedings of the 2019 27th ACM Joint Meeting, European Software Engineering Conference and Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (pp. 1134-1138). New York NY USA: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). https://doi.org/10.1145/3338906.3341186