Kolloquium WiSe 2015/16
When: 25.01.2016, 17:15
Where: Room D-125
The Challenges of Affect Detection in the Social Programmer Ecosystem
Software engineering involves a large amount of social interaction, as programmers often need to cooperate with others, whether directly or indirectly. However, we have become fully aware of the importance of social aspects in software engineering activities only over the last decade. In fact, it was not until the recent diffusion and massive adoption of social media that we could witness the rise of the “social programmer” and the surrounding ecosystem. Social media has deeply influenced the design of software development-oriented tools such as GitHub (i.e., a social coding site) and Stack Overflow (i.e., a community-based question answering site). Stack Overflow, in particular, is an example of an online community where social programmers do networking by reading and answering others’ questions, thus participating in the creation and diffusion of crowdsourced knowledge and software documentation.
One of the biggest drawbacks of computer-mediated communication is to appropriately convey sentiment through text. While display rules for emotions exist and are widely accepted for interaction in traditional face-to-face communication, web users are not necessarily prepared for effectively dealing with the social media barriers to non-verbal communication. Thus, the design of systems and mechanisms for the development of emotional awareness between communicators is an important technical and social challenge for research related to computer-supported collaboration and social computing.
As a consequence, a recent research trend has emerged to study the role of affect in the social programmer ecosystem, by applying sentiment analysis to the content available in sites such as GitHub and Stack Overflow, as well as in other asynchronous communication artifacts such as comments in issue tracking systems. This talk surveys the state-of-the-art in sentiment analysis tools and examines to what extent they are able to detect affective expressions in communication traces left by software developers. A discussion is offered about the advantages and limitations of choosing sentiment polarity and strength as an appropriate way to operationalize affective states in empirical studies. Finally, open challenges and opportunities of affective software engineering are discussed, with special focus on the need to combine cognitive emotion modeling with affective computing and natural language processing techniques to build large-scale, robust approaches for sentiment detection in software engineering.
Nicole Novielli is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Bari, Italy. Her expertise is in Affective Computing. Since 2006, her research is on human factors and emotions in natural language interaction. In 2012 she joined the COLLAB research group, whose research is in Software Engineering and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, with focus on collaborative software development. She is the principal investigator of EmoQuest, a multidisciplinary project aimed at investigating the role of emotions in online Question & Answer sites, funded by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research. She served in the PC of several international conferences and workshops, such as the International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (ACII 2015), the Workshop on User Models for Motivational Systems (since 2010), the Workshop on Emotion and Sentiment in Social and Expressive Media (ESSEM 2015). She served in the organization of the 8th IEEE International Conference on Global Software Engineering (ICGSE 2013) and is co-organizer of the ICSE Workshop on Emotion Awareness in Software Engineering (SEmotion’16). She received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Bari in May 2010 discussing a thesis on “Lexical Semantics of Dialogue Act”. Nicole has published more than 50 papers in peer-reviewed international journals, conferences, and workshops. Since 2011, she is active in technology transfer. She is CTO and co-founder of a startup company that develops mobile solutions for promotion of events through gamification. She organized several events for promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in ICT, including hackathons, courses on developing scalable business based on mobile technologies, and an open innovation summer camp on language technologies. She is a member of the Italian network of Digital Champions, which tackles the digital divide in the national territory.