Benjamin S. Meyers

Also published as: Benjamin Meyers


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A dataset for identifying actionable feedback in collaborative software development
Benjamin S. Meyers | Nuthan Munaiah | Emily Prud’hommeaux | Andrew Meneely | Josephine Wolff | Cecilia Ovesdotter Alm | Pradeep Murukannaiah
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Software developers and testers have long struggled with how to elicit proactive responses from their coworkers when reviewing code for security vulnerabilities and errors. For a code review to be successful, it must not only identify potential problems but also elicit an active response from the colleague responsible for modifying the code. To understand the factors that contribute to this outcome, we analyze a novel dataset of more than one million code reviews for the Google Chromium project, from which we extract linguistic features of feedback that elicited responsive actions from coworkers. Using a manually-labeled subset of reviewer comments, we trained a highly accurate classifier to identify acted-upon comments (AUC = 0.85). Our results demonstrate the utility of our dataset, the feasibility of using NLP for this new task, and the potential of NLP to improve our understanding of how communications between colleagues can be authored to elicit positive, proactive responses.


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An Analysis and Visualization Tool for Case Study Learning of Linguistic Concepts
Cecilia Ovesdotter Alm | Benjamin Meyers | Emily Prud’hommeaux
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

We present an educational tool that integrates computational linguistics resources for use in non-technical undergraduate language science courses. By using the tool in conjunction with evidence-driven pedagogical case studies, we strive to provide opportunities for students to gain an understanding of linguistic concepts and analysis through the lens of realistic problems in feasible ways. Case studies tend to be used in legal, business, and health education contexts, but less in the teaching and learning of linguistics. The approach introduced also has potential to encourage students across training backgrounds to continue on to computational language analysis coursework.