Relationship-Aware code search for Javascript frameworks

Xuan Li, Zerui Wang, Qianxiang Wang, Shoumeng Yan, Tao Xie, Hong Mei

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


JavaScript frameworks, such as jQuery, are widely used for developing web applications. To facilitate using these JavaScript frameworks to implement a feature (e.g., fhnctionality), a large number of programmers often search for code snippets that implement the same or similar feature. However, existing code search approaches tend to be ineffective, without taking into account the fact that JavaScript code snippets often implement a feature based on various relationships (e.g., sequencing, condition, and callback relationships) among the invoked framework API methods. To address this issue, we present a novel Relationship-Aware Code Search (RACS) approach for fmding code snippets that use JavaScript frameworks to implement a specific feature. In advance, RACS collects a large number of code snippets that use some JavaScript frameworks, mines API usage patterns from the collected code snippets, and represents the mined patterns with method call relationship (MCR) graphs, which capture framework API methods' signatures and their relationships. Given a natural language (NL) search query issued by a programmer, RACS conducts NL processing to automatically extract an action relationship (AR) graph, which consists of actions and their relationships inferred from the query. In this way, RACS reduces code search to the problem of graph search: fmding similar MCR graphs for a given AR graph. We conduct evaluations against representative real-world jQuery questions posted on Stack Overflow, based on 308,294 code snippets collected from over 81,540 files on the Internet. The evaluation results show the effectiveness of RACS: The top 1 snippet produced by RACS matches the target code snippet for 46% questions, compared to only 4% achieved by a relationship-oblivious approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFSE 2016 - Proceedings of the 2016 24th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Foundations of Software Engineering
EditorsZhendong Su, Thomas Zimmermann, Jane Cleland-Huang
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450342186
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016
Event24th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Foundations of Software Engineering, FSE 2016 - Seattle, United States
Duration: Nov 13 2016Nov 18 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering


Other24th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Foundations of Software Engineering, FSE 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Code search
  • Javascript code mining
  • Natural language processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software


Dive into the research topics of 'Relationship-Aware code search for Javascript frameworks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this