Conference Proceedings

Characterizing search activities on stack overflow

J Liu, S Baltes, C Treude, D Lo, Y Zhang, X Xia

ESEC/FSE 2021 - Proceedings of the 29th ACM Joint Meeting European Software Engineering Conference and Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering | ACM | Published : 2021


To solve programming issues, developers commonly search on Stack Overflow to seek potential solutions. However, there is a gap between the knowledge developers are interested in and the knowledge they are able to retrieve using search engines. To help developers efficiently retrieve relevant knowledge on Stack Overflow, prior studies proposed several techniques to reformulate queries and generate summarized answers. However, few studies performed a large-scale analysis using real-world search logs. In this paper, we characterize how developers search on Stack Overflow using such logs. By doing so, we identify the challenges developers face when searching on Stack Overflow and seek opportunit..

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