Classifying code comments in Java open-source software systems

TitleClassifying code comments in Java open-source software systems
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsPascarella, Luca, and Bacchelli Alberto
Secondary Title2017 IEEE/ACM 14th International Conference on Mining Software Repositories (MSR)
Date Published05/2017
Keywordsjava, Survey

Code comments are a key software component
containing information about the underlying implementation.
Several studies have shown that code comments enhance the
readability of the code. Nevertheless, not all the comments have
the same goal and target audience. In this paper, we investigate
how six diverse Java OSS projects use code comments, with the
aim of understanding their purpose. Through our analysis, we
produce a taxonomy of source code comments; subsequently, we
investigate how often each category occur by manually classifying
more than 2,000 code comments from the aforementioned
projects. In addition, we conduct an initial evaluation on how
to automatically classify code comments at line level into our
taxonomy using machine learning; initial results are promising
and suggest that an accurate classification is within reach.


"we conducted an in-depth analysis of the
comments in the source code files of six major OSS systems
in Java"