Learning to Generate Code Comments from Class Hierarchies

Descriptive code comments are essential for supporting code comprehension and maintenance. We propose the task of automatically generating comments for overriding methods. We formulate a novel framework which accommodates the unique contextual and linguistic reasoning that is required for performing this task. Our approach features: (1) incorporating context from the class hierarchy; (2) conditioning on learned, latent representations of specificity to generate comments that capture the more specialized behavior of the overriding method; and (3) unlikelihood training to discourage predictions which do not conform to invariant characteristics of the comment corresponding to the overridden method. Our experiments show that the proposed approach is able to generate comments for overriding methods of higher quality compared to prevailing comment generation techniques.

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