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Language Models at the Intersection of Cognitive Science and Software Engineering

Although tools such as GitHub Copilot provide significant assistance for specific stages of the software development lifecycle, they fall short in supporting other crucial areas. One notable example is the design process, which encompasses tasks such as the creation and refinement of software models, including UML class and sequence diagrams. This seminar will investigate why this gap exists.

A brief review of previous strategies, specifically non-machine learning approaches, will provide an understanding of ongoing challenges in the field and how these can be addressed using large language models. We will explore the current applications of large language models in automating and assisting the development of software systems. Our objective is to examine the opportunities recent advancements in the machine learning domain (for example, ChatGPT) have unlocked in various areas, such as software model completion. By also focusing on psychological aspects of software engineering, we aim to understand how contributions not only advance technical capabilities but also support the human elements of software development.

The seminar includes analyzing the contributions of selected papers on code generation, code comprehension, documentation, and model completion as well as discussing potential future directions together. 


All sessions will take please in E1.1 2.06

During the seminar, we will delve deeper into the following sectors:

  • Code-Centric Approaches (Program Synthesis, Code Completion)

  • Testing, Documentation

  • Model and Architecture (Model Completion, Model Repair)

  • Cognitive Science and Human Factors (How developers think and learn, Cognitive models for code comprehension, Psychological aspects of software engineering)




Registration for the seminar is mandatory. To distribute students among the available seminars offered by the computer science department, you have to select your preferences for a  seminar or a proseminar on the central registration platform for seminars and will be automatically assigned to a seminar according to your preferences.

If you are assigned to this seminar, for organizational reasons, you have to sign up both in the course registration form that will be given above and in the LSF (seminar, proseminar). Deadlines for the LSF (HISPOS) registration will be posted in the LSF (HISPOS) portal. Registration is possible up to three weeks after the topic assignment / kick-off.

There will be five sessions in total, all scheduled on Thursdays 12:15 PM - 2:00 PM. Participation to all sessions is mandatory.
Students are required to deliver two presentations, each ranging from 5 to 10 minutes. Drafts of the slides for these presentations must be submitted by the Sunday prior to the discussion. Following the presentations, a discussion will take place in which every student should participate; however, all students are mandated to submit a minimum of four questions by the Sunday before the discussion. 
The topic assignment will take place on 25.4. Attending is mandatory. You will have the opportunity to select your preference for the topic and the paper you wish to present (papers are provided under materials).
Further information will be provided via e-mail after registration. 


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