Improving Program Comprehension via Automatic Documentation Generation

Paul W. McBurney
Programmers rely on documentation in order to understand source code. However, documentation is often incomplete or out-of-date and is time-consuming to write. Automatic documentation solutions are desirable, as it can help offset the cost and difficulty of writing documentation manually. In my this document, I summarize my research into improving software documentation. First, I perform a user study of software documentation to how software should is documented by experienced authors as
more » ... d to new readers of the system. This study found that authors often document Java methods using language from outside of the source code. Second, I present a novel approach to automatically generate documentation from Java source code method context. This approach both demonstrates that contextual information can be automatically documented. This approach also outperformed author-written documentation with respect to helping the users understand the context of a given method. Finally, I perform a preliminary study to investigate if software documentation effort can be prioritized.
doi:10.7274/j3860576b5m fatcat:u7cmgysbvrg5pkdxcvozl4okje