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ICSE 2021
Mon 17 May - Sat 5 June 2021

The names of variables and functions serve as implicit documentation and are instrumental for program comprehension. But choosing good meaningful names is hard. We perform a sequence of experiments in which a total of 334 subjects are required to choose names in given programming scenarios. The first experiment shows that the probability that two developers would select the same name is low: in the 47 instances in our experiments the median probability was only 6.9%. At the same time, given that a specific name is chosen, it is usually understood by the majority of developers. Analysis of the names given in the experiment suggests a model where naming is a (not necessarily cognizant or serial) three-step process: (1) selecting the concepts to include in the name, (2) choosing the words to represent each concept, and (3) constructing a name using these words. A followup experiment, using the same experimental setup, then checked whether using this model explicitly can improve the quality of names. The results were that names selected by subjects using the model were judged by two independent judges to be superior to names chosen in the original experiment by a ratio of two-to-one. Using the model appears to encourage the use of more concepts and longer names.

Conference Day
Tue 25 May

Displayed time zone: Amsterdam, Berlin, Bern, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna change

19:35 - 20:55
1.5.5. Developers: Naming Methods and VariablesTechnical Track / Journal-First Papers at Blended Sessions Room 5 +12h
Chair(s): José Miguel RojasUniversity of Leicester, UK
19:35
20m
Paper
How Developers Choose NamesJournal-First
Journal-First Papers
Dror FeitelsonHebrew University, Ayelet MizrahiHebrew University, Nofar NoyHebrew University, Aviad Ben ShabatHebrew University, Or EliyahuHebrew University, Roy ShefferHebrew University
Link to publication DOI Pre-print Media Attached
19:55
20m
Paper
IdBench: Evaluating Semantic Representations of Identifier Names in Source CodeTechnical Track
Technical Track
Yaza WainakhTU Darmstadt, Moiz RaufUniversity of Stuttgart, Michael PradelUniversity of Stuttgart
Pre-print Media Attached
20:15
20m
Paper
A Context-based Automated Approach for Method Name Consistency Checking and SuggestionTechnical Track
Technical Track
Yi LiNew Jersey Institute of Technology, Shaohua WangNew Jersey Institute of Technology, Tien N. NguyenUniversity of Texas at Dallas
Pre-print Media Attached
20:35
20m
Paper
On the Naming of Methods: A Survey of Professional DevelopersArtifact ReusableTechnical TrackArtifact Available
Technical Track
Reem S. AlsuhaibaniKent State University, Christian D. NewmanRochester Institute of Technology, Michael J. DeckerBowling Green State University, Michael L. CollardThe University of Akron, Jonathan I. MaleticKent State University
Pre-print Media Attached

Conference Day
Wed 26 May

Displayed time zone: Amsterdam, Berlin, Bern, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna change

07:35 - 08:55
1.5.5. Developers: Naming Methods and VariablesTechnical Track / Journal-First Papers at Blended Sessions Room 5
07:35
20m
Paper
How Developers Choose NamesJournal-First
Journal-First Papers
Dror FeitelsonHebrew University, Ayelet MizrahiHebrew University, Nofar NoyHebrew University, Aviad Ben ShabatHebrew University, Or EliyahuHebrew University, Roy ShefferHebrew University
Link to publication DOI Pre-print Media Attached
07:55
20m
Paper
IdBench: Evaluating Semantic Representations of Identifier Names in Source CodeTechnical Track
Technical Track
Yaza WainakhTU Darmstadt, Moiz RaufUniversity of Stuttgart, Michael PradelUniversity of Stuttgart
Pre-print Media Attached
08:15
20m
Paper
A Context-based Automated Approach for Method Name Consistency Checking and SuggestionTechnical Track
Technical Track
Yi LiNew Jersey Institute of Technology, Shaohua WangNew Jersey Institute of Technology, Tien N. NguyenUniversity of Texas at Dallas
Pre-print Media Attached
08:35
20m
Paper
On the Naming of Methods: A Survey of Professional DevelopersArtifact ReusableTechnical TrackArtifact Available
Technical Track
Reem S. AlsuhaibaniKent State University, Christian D. NewmanRochester Institute of Technology, Michael J. DeckerBowling Green State University, Michael L. CollardThe University of Akron, Jonathan I. MaleticKent State University
Pre-print Media Attached