APIBot: Question Answering Bot for API documentation


As the carrier of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) knowledge, API documentation plays a crucial role in how developers learn and use an API. It is also a valuable information resource for answering API-related questions, especially when developers cannot find reliable answers to their questions online/offline. However, finding answers to API-related questions from API documentation might not be easy because one may have to manually go through multiple pages before reaching the relevant page, and then read and understand the information inside the relevant page to figure out the answers. To deal with this challenge, we develop APIBot, a bot that can answer API questions given API documentation as an input. APIBot is built on top of SiriusQA, the QA system from Sirius, a state of the art intelligent personal assistant. To make SiriusQA work well under software engineering scenario, we make several modifications over SiriusQA by injecting domain specific knowledge. We evaluate APIBot on 92 API questions, answers of which are known to be present in Java 8 documentation. Our experiment shows that APIBot can achieve a Hit@5 score of 0.706.

In Proceedings of the 32nd IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering, ACM