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*CS Colloquium: Searching for Relevant Functions and Their Usages in 
Millions of Lines of Code*

Thursday, March 28, 2013
10:00am
ENGR 4201
*Denys Poshyvanyk*

*Abstract*

Different studies show that programmers are more interested in finding 
definitions of functions and their uses than variables, statements, or 
ordinary code fragments. Therefore, developers require support in 
finding relevant functions and determining how those functions are used. 
Unfortunately, existing code search engines do not provide enough of 
this support to developers, thus reducing the effectiveness of code 
reuse. We provide this support to programmers in a code search system 
called Portfolio that retrieves and visualizes relevant functions and 
their usages. We have built Portfolio using a combination of models that 
address surfing behavior of programmers and sharing related concepts 
among functions. Currently, Portfolio is instantiated on two large 
source code repositories with thousands of projects spanning 270 Million 
C/C++ and 440 Million Java lines of code. In order to evaluate 
Portfolio, we conducted two experiments. First, an experiment with 49 
professional C/C++ programmers to compare Portfolio to Google Code 
Search and Koders using a standard methodology for evaluating 
Information Retrieval-based engines. And second, an experiment with 19 
Java programmers to compare Portfolio to Koders. The results show with 
strong statistical significance that users find more relevant functions 
with higher precision with Portfolio than with Google Code Search and 
Koders. We also demonstrate that by using PageRank, Portfolio is able to 
rank returned relevant functions more efficiently.

*Speaker's Bio*

Dr. Denys Poshyvanyk is an Assistant Professor at the College of William 
and Mary in Virginia. He received his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science 
from Wayne State University in 2008. He also obtained his M.S. and M.A. 
degrees in Computer Science from the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla 
Academy, Ukraine and Wayne State University in 2003 and 2006, 
respectively. Since 2010, he has been serving on the steering committee 
of the International Conference on Program Comprehension (ICPC). He has 
been elected as a chair of the ICPC steering committee in 2012. He 
serves as a program co-chair for 21st IEEE International Conference on 
Program Comprehension (ICPC'13). He also served as a program co-chair 
for the 18th and 19th International Working Conference on Reverse 
Engineering (WCRE 2011 and WCRE 2012). Dr. Poshyvanyk received NSF 
CAREER award and several Best Paper Awards, including ICPC'06, ICPC'07, 
ICSM'10, and SCAM'10. His research interests are in software 
engineering, software maintenance and evolution, program comprehension, 
reverse engineering, software repository mining, source code analysis, 
and metrics.