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Artifact Representation Techniques for Large-Scale Software Search Engines

  • Oliver Hummel
  • Colin Atkinson
  • Marcus Schumacher

Abstract

The first generation of software retrieval systems developed some 25 years ago used simple bibliographic indexing techniques adapted from library science to support the retrieval of relatively small numbers of in-house software artifacts. While these were sufficient at the time, they were completely unscaleable to the vast numbers of software artifacts available today. The second generation of software search engines, representing the state-of-the-practice today, tackles this problem by using full-text search frameworks such as Lucene to support text-based searches on large software collections. However, these typically provide no inherent support for sophisticated search use cases which exploit the structure and “meaning” of software artifacts. In this chapter we describe the core techniques used in current text-based code search engines and advanced techniques that can be used to support sophisticated forms of searches that exploit the structure of software. We then survey the challenges and opportunities encountered in the development of the next (third) generation of software search engines based on new, currently emerging data storage platforms.

Keywords

Search Engine Structure Search Software Artifact XPath Query Relevance Ranking 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Philipp Bostan, Matthias Gutheil, Werner Janjic and Dietmar Stoll from the Software Engineering Group at the University of Mannheim for their contributions to developing the tools described in this chapter.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oliver Hummel
    • 1
  • Colin Atkinson
    • 1
  • Marcus Schumacher
    • 1
  1. 1.Software Engineering GroupUniversity of MannheimMannheimGermany

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