Lunch at 12:30pm, talk at 1pm, in 148 Fitzpatrick

Title: Dialogue Management for Interactive API Search

Abstract: API search involves finding components in an API that pertain to a programmer’s information need. For example, a programmer may need a function in a C library that opens a new network connection, then another function that sends data across that connection. Unfortunately, programmers often have trouble finding the API components that they need. A strong scientific consensus is emerging towards developing interactive tool support that responds to conversational feedback, emulating the experience of asking a fellow human programmer for help. A major barrier to creating these interactive tools is implementing dialogue management for API search. Dialogue management involves determining how a system should respond to user input, such as whether to ask a clarification question or display potential results.

In this talk, I will present our recently published approach to dialogue management for interactive API search that considers search relevance and dialogue history to select efficient dialogue actions. We implemented two dialogue policies: a hand-crafted policy and a policy optimized via reinforcement learning. We performed a synthetics evaluation and a human evaluation comparing the policies to a generic single-turn, top-N policy used by source code search engines.

Bio: Zack is a 5th year Ph.D. student at the University of Notre Dame advised by Collin McMillan. His research focuses on the application of virtual assistant technology to software engineering tasks. In his spare time, he enjoys playing and designing board games.