Effects of tag usage on question response time

Analysis and prediction in StackOverflow
  • Vasudev Bhat
  • Adheesh Gokhale
  • Ravi Jadhav
  • Jagat Pudipeddi
  • Leman Akoglu
Original Article


Given a newly posted question on a Question and Answer (Q&A) site, how long will it take until an answer is received? Does response time relate to factors about how the question asker composes the question? If so, what are those factors? With advances in social media and the Web, Q&A sites have become a major source of information for Internet users. Response time of a question is an important aspect in these sites as it is associated with the users’ satisfaction and engagement, and thus the lifespan of these online communities. In this paper, we study and estimate response time for questions in StackOverflow, a popular online Q&A forum where software developers post and answer questions related to programming. We analyze a long list of factors in the data and identify those that have clear relation with response time. Our key finding is that tag-related factors, such as their “popularity” (how often the tag is used) and the num ber of their “subscribers” (how many users can answer questions containing the tag), provide much stronger evidence than factors not related to tags. Finally, we learn models using the identified evidential features for predicting the response time of questions, which also demonstrate the significance of tags chosen by the question asker.


Online communities Question-answering sites Collective intelligence Question response time User engagement Human behavior Evidential feature analysis 



This material is based upon work supported by the Army Research Office Young Investigator Program under Contract No. W911NF-14-1-0029, National Science Foundation CAREER 1452425 and IIS 1408287, an R&D Grant from Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, and Stony Brook University Office of Vice President for Research. Any findings and conclusions expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies or views, either expressed or implied, of the funding parties.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vasudev Bhat
    • 1
  • Adheesh Gokhale
    • 1
  • Ravi Jadhav
    • 1
  • Jagat Pudipeddi
    • 1
  • Leman Akoglu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceStony Brook UniversityStony BrookUSA

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