Mining Source Code Repositories at Massive Scale using Language Modeling

TitleMining Source Code Repositories at Massive Scale using Language Modeling
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsAllamanis, M, Sutton, C
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Secondary Title10th Working Conference on Mining Software Repositories
Date Published05/2013

The tens of thousands of high-quality open source
software projects on the Internet raise the exciting possibility
of studying software development by finding patterns across
truly large source code repositories. This could enable new tools
for developing code, encouraging reuse, and navigating large
projects. In this paper, we build the first giga-token probabilistic
language model of source code, based on 352 million lines of
Java. This is 100 times the scale of the pioneering work by
Hindle et al. The giga-token model is significantly better at the
code suggestion task than previous models. More broadly, our
approach provides a new “lens” for analyzing software projects,
enabling new complexity metrics based on statistical analysis
of large corpora. We call these metrics
data-driven complexity
metrics. We propose new metrics that measure the complexity of
a code module and the topical centrality of a module to a software
project. In particular, it is possible to distinguish reusable utility
classes from classes that are part of a program’s core logic based
solely on general information theoretic criteria.

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