Write a Blog >>
ICSE 2021
Mon 17 May - Sat 5 June 2021

Identifier names convey useful information about the intended semantics of code. Name-based program analyses use this information, e.g., to detect bugs, to predict types, and to improve the readability of code. At the core of name-based analyses are semantic representations of identifiers, e.g., in the form of learned embeddings. The high-level goal of such a representation is to encode whether two identifiers, e.g., len and size, are semantically similar. Unfortunately, it is currently unclear to what extent semantic representations match the semantic relatedness and similarity perceived by developers. This paper presents IdBench, the first benchmark for evaluating semantic representations against a ground truth created from thousands of ratings by 500 software developers. We use IdBench to study state-of-the-art embedding techniques proposed for natural language, an embedding technique specifically designed for source code, and lexical string distance functions. Our results show that the effectiveness of semantic representations varies significantly and that the best available embeddings successfully represent semantic relatedness. On the downside, no existing technique provides a satisfactory representation of semantic similarities, among other reasons because identifiers with opposing meanings are incorrectly considered to be similar, which may lead to fatal mistakes, e.g., in a refactoring tool. Studying the strengths and weaknesses of the different techniques shows that they complement each other. As a first step toward exploiting this complementarity, we present an ensemble model that combines existing techniques and that clearly outperforms the best available semantic representation.

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