Language models in Software Engineering (new paper review)

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It’s no secret that I’ve been fascinated by modern, BERT-like language models. I’ve seen what they can do and how they operate, use them in two of my research projects. So, when this paper came around, I read it directly.

It’s a paper which makes an overview of what kind of tasks the language models are used in software engineering today. The list is long and contains a variety of tasks, e.g., code-to-code retrieval, repairing of source code or bug finding/fixing. In total a lot of these tasks, but, IMHO, a bit low-level tasks. There are no tasks that attempt to understand code at the design-level, for example whether we can really see specific design in the code.

The paper also shows which models are used, and provides references to these models. They list 20 models, with the tasks for which they were trained, including the datasets that they were trained on. Fantastic!

I need to dive deeper into these models, but I’m super happy about the fact that there is a list of these models now and that the language technology makes a significant body of work in software engineering now.

Author: Miroslaw Staron

I’m professor in Software Engineering at IT faculty. I usually blog about interesting articles (for me) and my own reflections on the development of Software Engineering, AI, computer science and automotive software.