Prem Devanbu's Home Page
Prem Devanbu (but are you looking for the Painter Roma Devanbu ? or the Social Practice Artist Josephine Devanbu ? or the Design Engineer Frances Devanbu ? If you're looking for the Mridungam player, or the Evangelist, sorry you're on yer own )

picture with bike helmet I am a Distinguished Research Professor on the Faculty of the Computer Science Department at the University of California at Davis. I work in the areas of empirical software engineering, and Software Engineering applications of ML, and co-direct the DECAL Lab with Vladimir Filkov   See my academic vitae  for a summary, and/or  my research statement for more details. consulting work.

My office is at Academic Surge 2079.

I am a proudly helmeted bicycle commuter.

JOB SCAM ALERT Unfortunately, some nasty characters are running a job scam using my name. Please read the UC Davis alert on this. I almost never contact students by email offering jobs, unless I know them first. If you get such an email, it's almost certainly a scam.

I was elected ACM Fellow in 2018. A pleasure to join my wonderful UC Davis colleagues Dan Gusfield, Nelson Max. and Kwan-liu Ma

I am deeply honored to be the winner of the The 2021 ACM SIGSOFT Outstanding Research Award, (in 2022) the Humboldt Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany, and (in 2024) the IEEE Computer Society Harlan Mills Award

Journal Service: I am pleased to serve as a Co-Chair (along with prof. m. c. schraefel ) of the Editorial Board of the Communications of the ACM.   Previously have done hard time on the Ed Board of several journals, including: The Empirical Software Engineering Journal, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology, and the Journal of Software Maintenance and Evolution, Research and Practice

I program-chaired ACM SIGSOFT FSE in 2006 in Portland, OR; since then, I co-chaired the program for ICSE 2010 in Cape Town, with Seb Uchitel. I was also the General Chair for FSE 2020 , held virtually in Sacramento, California, during the Pandemic.

Want a letter of reference?

My Academic Lineage is the same as William Cohen's , and extends back to such luminaries as Maxwell, Newton, Bernoulli, Poisson, Euler, and Leibniz. Those guys were smart, but didn't wear bike helmets. Look what happened to them. Where are they now, eh? EH? EH? Let that be a lesson. Wear your helmet, especially when bicycling.

Post-Diluvian Pubs ( Rest here)

Automatic Semantic Augmentation of Language Model Prompts (ICSE 2024)   pdf
Better patching using LLM prompting, via Self-Consistency (ASE NIER 2023)   pdf
Large Language Models, and Simple, Stupid Bugs (MSR 2023)   preprint
Extended Source Code Pre-Trained Language Models to Summarise Decompiled Binaries (SANER 2023) Preprint pdf
SYNSHINE: improved fixing of Syntax Errors". (IEEE TSE 2022) preprint pdf
Few-shot training VLLMs for project-specific code-summarization. (ASE New Ideas and Emerging Results, 2022) preprint)
NatGen: Generative Pre-Training by "Naturalizing" source code   ESEC/FSE 2022
Learning to Predict User-Defined Types IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering   2022   pre print pdf
ManyTypes4TypeScript: A Comprehensive TypeScript Dataset for Sequence-Based Type Inference MSR 2022 Data Challenge     pre-print
Multi-lingual training for software engineering ICSE   2022   pre print pdf
Finding Inlined Functions in Optimized Binaries IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering   2021   pre print pdf
Learning Type Annotations: is Big Data Enough? ESEC/FSE Visions and Reflections   2021   pre print pdf
Learning Lenient Parsing and Typing via Indirect Supervision Springer-Verlag Empirical Software Engineering Journal   2021   pre print pdf
Do Programmers Prefer Predictable Expressions in Code? Cognitive Science   2020   pdf
Code to Comment "Translation": Data, Metrics, Baselining & Evaluation Automated Software Engineering   2020   pdf
Patching as Translation: the Data vs. the Metaphor Automated Software Engineering   2020   pdf
Does Surprisal Predict Code Comprehension Difficulty? Presented at Cognitive Science Society Conference     2020 pdf
A Theory of Dual-Channel Constraints Proceedings ICSE NIER     2020 pdf
Status, Identity, and Language: A study of issue discussions in GitHub PLOS One Journal     2019
Whom are you going to call? determinants of @-mentions in Github discussions Empirical Software Engineering Journal     2019
Test Coverage in Python Programs MSR 2019     pdf
Studying the difference between Natural and Programming Language Corpora Empirical Software Engineering Journal   2019     pdf
On the Naturalness of Proofs Proceedings ESEC/FSE (NIER Track) 2018     pdf
A Survey of Machine Learning for Big Code and Naturalness ACM Computing Surveys, 51(4) 2018 pdf
Mining Semantic Loop Idioms IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering 2018 44(7) pdf
Are Deep Neural Networks the Best Choice for Modeling Source Code FSE 2017 pdf
Recovering Clear, Natural Identifiers from Obfuscated JS Names FSE 2017 pdf
On the "Naturalness" of Buggy Code ICSE 2016 pdf
Belief & Evidence in Empirical Software ENgineering ICSE 2016 pdf
The Sky is Not the Limit: Multitasking Across GitHub Projects ICSE 2016 pdf
Quality and Productivity Outcomes Relating to Continuous Integration in GitHub FSE 2015     pdf
Developer Onboarding in GitHub: the Role of Prior Social Links and Language Experience FSE 2015     pdf
CACHECA: A Cache Language Model Based Code Suggestion Tool. ICSE 2015 Demonstration Track pdf   Code  
Gender and Tenure Diversity in Github Teams. CHI 2015 pdf
Assert Use in GitHub Projects, ICSE 2015   pdf   IMPORTANT, NOTE We replicated this study, using a different experimental methodology, and got different results short pdf of replication
New Initiative: Naturalness of Software ICSE 2015 NIER Track pdf Winner, Best Paper Award
A Large Scale Study of Programming Languages and Code Quality in Github. The Version currently in ACM DL is out of date, and has been revised, see this pdf version for errata/details.
On the Localness of Software FSE 2014     pdf   Code
The Plastic Surgery Hypothesis FSE 2014    
Panning Requirement Nuggets in Stream of Software Maintenance Tickets FSE 2014    
Focus-Shifting Patterns of OSS Developers and Their Congruence with Call Graphs FSE 2014    
Comparing Static bug finders and Statistical defect prediction ICSE 2014     pdf     DATA    
How Social Q&A Sites are Changing Knowledge Sharing in Open Source Software Communities CSCW 2014    
Using and Asking: APIs Used in the Android Market and Asked About in StackOverflow SocInfo2013     pdf
Sample Size vs. Bias in Defect Prediction, ESEC/FSE 2013     pdf    
Asking for (and about) Permissions Used by Android Apps MSR 2013
Dual Ecological Measures of Focus in Software Development, ICSE 2013     pdf     Winner, ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award
How, and Why Process Metrics are Better, ICSE 2013     pdf    
To what extent could we detect field defects?   ASE 2012     pdf    
When Would This Bug Get Reported? , ICSM 2012     pdf    
MIC Check: A Correlation Tactic for ESE Data, MSR 2012     pdf    
On the "Naturalness" of software, Appeared in ICSE 2012     pdf (Expanded Version!)    
Recalling the Imprecision of Cross-Project Defect Prediction> Appeared in FSE 2012, pdf
Cohesive and Isolated Development with Branches, Appeared in FASE 2012
Clones: what is that smell? l Journal on Empirical Software Engineering,     pdf    
Got Issues? Do New Features and Code Improvements Affect Defects? WCRE 11     pdf    
Ecological Inference in Empirical Software Engineering ASE 2011     pdf     Winner, ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper and ASE 2011 Best Paper Awards.
BugCache for Inspections : Hit or Miss? SIGSOFT FSE 2011     pdf     Nominee, ACM Distinguished Paper Award.
Don't Touch My Code! Examining the Effects of Ownership on Software Quality SIGSOFT FSE 2011     pdf
A Simpler model of software readability MSR 2011     pdf
Operating System Compatibility Analysis of Eclipse and Netbeans Based on Bug Data MSR 2011 Mining Challenge
Ownership, Experience and Defects: a fine-grained study of Authorship ICSE 2011     pdf
An Empirical Study on the Influence of Pattern Roles on Change-Proneness Empirical Software Engineering Journal Springer-Verlag, 2011.     pdf
The missing links: bugs and bug-fix commits SIGSOFT FSE 2010     pdf
Validity of Network Analyses in Open Source Projects. MSR 2010     pdf
Clones: What is that Smell? MSR 2010     pdf Winner, Best Paper Award, MSR 2010
Thex: Mining Metapatterns in Java. MSR 2010     pdf
Does Distributed Development Affect Software Quality? An Empirical Case Study of Windows Vista, Research Highlights, CACM, August, 2009. Revised version of ICSE 2009 paper (see below).
Putting it All Together: Using Socio-Technical Networks to Predict Failures ISSRE 2009.
Fair and Balanced? Bias in bug-fix Datasets" SIGSOFT FSE 2009     pdf
Promises and Perils of Mining Git MSR 2009 pdf
Modeling and verifying a broad array of network properties Europhysics Letters (EPL), 2009 pdf
Does Distributed Development Affect Software Quality? An Empirical Case Study of Windows Vista, ICSE 2009 pdf Winner, ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished paper award
Structure and Dynamics of Research Collaboration in Computer Science SIAM International Conference on Data Mining 2009 pdf
Instant Multi-Tier Web Applications without Tears. Indian Software Engineering Conference 2009 (acceptance rate 13%) pdf
Community Structure in Open-source Developer Social networks. ACM SIGSOFT FSE 2008 pdf
Scalable, Flexible Peephole Pretty-Printing. Science of Computer Programming 2008. The pdf
Recommending Random Walks ( SIGSOFT FSE 2007 pdf ) Nominee, ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished paper award
Immigration in Open Source projects. (MSR 2007 pdf )
Aspect-oriented Layer Bypassing in Middleware ( AOSD 2007 pdf)
Mining Email Social Networks MSR 2006 pdf
Static checking of dynamically generated queries in database applications ( ICSE 2004 pdf). Winner, ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished paper award.
Dynamically Negotiating QoS Features: The GlueQoS Project ( ICSE 2004 pdf)
Text visualizations at interactive speeds: Peephole Pretty-Printing (Project page)
Distributed adaptations for distributed objects: The DADO project ( ICSE 2003 pdf). Nominee, ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper award.) 
Teaching & Advising
ECS 30, Introduction to Programming and Problem Solving
ECS 160, Undergraduate Software Engineering
ECS 260 Graduate Software Engineering.
ECS 289 Graduate Seminar in Open Source Software Engineering
I'm very lucky to have some great graduate students and Post-Docs.
Brief  Bio

I started off in Industrial software development, first at Perkin-Elmer; then  I worked at Bell Labs, first in software development and then in research, at Murray Hill, NJ; with the big travestyture, I went to AT&T Labs Research in Florham Park. I have been  at UC Davis since  late 1997.  My undergraduate education  was at IIT, Madras in India; my doctoral work was done  under Prof. Borgida at Rutgers University in the Garden State, which is a lovely   place, actually; although the Golden State   also has much to offer .

    Voice:  530 752 7324 Fax:  530 752 4767    Email:  devanbu atty cs dotty ucdavis dotty edu


My spouse, Roma Devanbu, is an artist and art educator whose work draws on different cultures, and explores the interplay between the spiritual and the temporal. Check out her work on her own web site , which is really like a piece of cake for your eyes. .

In my "abundant" spare time, I worry a lot. About everything. e.g., my work, my employer, fire, floods, war, bad guys, bad girls, financial derivatives, the environment, and my kids. Not necessarily in that order. So I need jokes in my life. So tell me jokes. Anytime, anywhere. Even bad ones.

If you are a foreign student interested in pursuing graduate studies at UC Davis under my supervision, please a) look over my papers, see if my research interests you b) apply for the graduate program c) contact me when you're admitted. The bad news is that we accept few foreign students. The good news is that your chances are good if you're from a reputed institution in your country, or have publications in international conferences/journals, or have very good scores on your GREs. etc. If you email me, use the following text in the first line: "Blue bottles with red stoppers are found in orange boxes".

Free JavaScripts provided
by The JavaScript Source