1st International Workshop on
Bots in Software Engineering

May 28th, 2019, Montreal, Canada
In conjunction with ICSE 2019

Keynote Speaker

Alan Nichol

The 5 levels of AI assistants

Developers around the world are striving to build software that leverages conversational AI. It is helpful to split these efforts to 5 levels of capability, in analogy with research on autonomous vehicles. There is no straightforward dichotomy between dumb chatbots and AGI, but a series of gradations which can help us understand progress. I will talk about the key characteristics of level 3 conversational AI, which is where the most advanced teams are today. I will discuss the difficult machine learning and engineering problems that this poses, and how we see solutions developing within the Rasa community, leveraging research in the field to advance the state of the art.

About the speaker: Dr. Alan Nichol is the co-founder and CTO of Rasa, and a maintainer of Rasa NLU and Rasa Core, the leading open source libraries for building conversational AI. He is also the author of the DataCamp course “building chatbots in python”. He holds a PhD in machine learning from the University of Cambridge and has years of experience building AI products in industry.


Opening and Keynote

  • 9:00 - 9:15 Opening
  • 9:15 - 10:30 Keynote: The 5 levels of AI assistants
    Alan Nichol

10:30 - 11:00 Coffee Break

Session 1: Defining and Characterizing Bots

  • 11:00 - 11:15 (invited) Defining and Classifying Software Bots: A Faceted Taxonomy
    Carlene Lebeuf, Alexey Zagalsky, Matthieu Foucault and Margaret-Anne Storey

  • 11:20 - 11:30 Current and Future Bots in Software Development
    Linda Erlenhov, Francisco Gomes de Oliveira Neto, Riccardo Scandariato and Philipp Leitner

  • 11:35 - 11:50 (invited) Explainable Software Bot Contributions: Case Study of Automated Bug Fixes
    Martin Monperrus

  • 11:55 - 12:30 Poster Session
    • TutorBot : Contextual learning guide for Software Engineers
      Venkatesh Subramanian, Nisha Ramachandra and Neville Dubash

    • A Bot for Suggesting Questions that Match Each User's Expertise
      Katsunori Fukui, Tomoki Miyazaki and Masao Ohira

    • Adopting Conversational Interfaces for Exploring OSGi-based Software Architectures in Augmented Reality
      Peter Seipel, Adrian Stock, Sivasurya Santhanam, Artur Baranowski, Nico Hochgeschwender and Andreas Schreiber

    • A Smart Advisor for Software Delivery - a Bot framework for Awareness, Alerts and Advice
      Vibhu Saujanya Sharma, Rohit Mehra, Vikrant Kaulgud and Sanjay Podder

12:30 - 14:00 Lunch

Session 2: Bots in Action

  • 14:00 - 14:10 Towards an Autonomous Bot for Automatic Source Code Refactoring
    Marvin Wyrich and Justus Bogner

  • 14:15 - 14:25 A Chatbot for Conflict Detection and Resolution
    Elahe Paikari, Jaeeun Choi, Seonkyu Kim, Sooyoung Baek, Myeongsoo Kim, Seungeon Lee, Chaeyeon Han, Youngjae Kim, Kahye Ahn, Chan Cheong and Andre van der Hoek

  • 14:30 - 14:40 An Additional Set of (Automated) Eyes: Chatbots for Agile Retrospectives
    Christoph Matthies, Franziska Dobrigkeit and Guenter Hesse

  • 14:45 - 14:55 Should I Stale or Should I Close? An Analysis of a Bot that Closes Abandoned Issues and Pull Requests
    Mairieli Wessel, Igor Steinmacher, Igor Wiese and Marco Aurélio Gerosa

  • 15:00 - 15:30 TUTORIAL: Building Chatbot using Rasa Stack

15:30 - 16:00 Coffee Break

Session 3: Repair & Recommendation Bots

  • 16:00 - 16:10 Towards s/engineer/bot: Principles for Program Repair Bots
    Rijnard van Tonder and Claire Le Goues

  • 16:15 - 16:30 (invited) Building Sankie: An AI Platform for DevOps
    Rahul Kumar, Chandra Maddila, Chetan Bansal, Nitin Sharma, Shawn Martelock and Ravi Bhargava

  • 16:35 - 16:50 (invited) Sorry to Bother You: Designing Bots for Effective Recommendations
    Chris Brown and Chris Parnin

  • 16:55 - 17:05 Building an Expert Recommender Chatbot
    Jhonny Cerezo, Juraj Kubelka, Romain Robbes and Alexandre Bergel

  • 17:10 - 17:45 PANEL: Future challenges and initiatives

Call for Papers
International Workshop on Bots in Software Engineering

Bots (short for software robots) are software applications that perform often repetitive or simple tasks. In particular, social and chat bots interacting with humans are a recent research topic. Similarly, bots can be used to automate many tasks that are performed by software practitioners and teams in their day-to-day work. Recent work argue that bots can save developers' time and significantly increase productivity. Therefore, the goal of this one-day workshop is to bring together software engineering researchers and practitioners to discuss the opportunities and challenges of bots in software engineering. We solicit 4 page, research, experience report and position papers. Research papers are expected to describe new research results and make contributions to the body knowledge in the area. Experience reports are expected to describe experiences with (amongst other things) the development, deployment, and maintenance of bot-based systems in the software engineering domain. Position papers are expected to discuss controversial issues in the field, or describe interesting or thought provoking ideas that are not yet fully developed. Papers will be reviewed by at least three program committee members. Accepted research and experience report papers will be invited to give a talk to present their findings. Authors of accepted position papers will be invited to give a short lightning talk. Papers may address issues along the general themes, including but not limited, to the following topics:

  • Using bots to derive software requirements and documentation
  • Using bots in the context of the reliability and quality of software systems
  • Using bots to support software system release and deployment
  • Using bots to enhance and support testing & maintenance of software systems
  • Supporting and answering developer questions using bots
  • Using bots to ensure the safety, security, privacy and trustworthiness of software systems
  • Effective processes for the development of bot-based software
  • Privacy and ethics issues related to the use of bots in software systems
  • Issues in the interaction of bots and developers and other stakeholders
  • Experiences using bot frameworks in software systems

How to Submit (adapted from ICSE)

Submission must not exceed 4 pages, including all text, figures, tables, and appendices; one additional page containing only references is permitted. Submissions must conform to the IEEE Conference Proceedings Formatting Guidelines (title in 24pt font and full text in 10pt type, LaTEX users must use \documentclass[10pt,conference]{IEEEtran} without including the compsoc or compsocconf option).
The submission must also comply with the ACM plagiarism policy and procedures. In particular, submissions must not have been published elsewhere and must not be under review elsewhere. The submission must also comply with the IEEE Policy on Authorship.
Submissions to the workshop can be made via easychair by the submission deadline.
If a submission is accepted, at least one author of the paper is required to attend the workshop and present the paper in person. All accepted workshop papers will be published in the proceedings by IEEE CS.

Important Dates

  • Submissions due: Feb 8, 2019 (Updated)
  • Notifications: Mar 1, 2019
  • Camera-ready due: March 15, 2019



  • Emad Shihab - Concordia University
  • Stefan Wagner - University of Stuttgart

Web Chair

  • Ahmad Abdellatif - Concordia University

Publicity Chair

  • Marvin Wyrich - University of Stuttgart

Program Committee

  • Marco Gerosa - Northern Arizona University
  • Regina Hebig - University of Gothenburg
  • Chris Parnin - North Carolina State University
  • Riccardo Scandariato - University of Gothenburg
  • Lionel Seinturier - University of Lille & Inria Lille
  • Igor Steinmacher - Northern Arizona University
  • Margaret-Anne Storey - University of Victoria
  • Xin Xia - Monash University
  • Zhenchang Xing - Australian National University
  • Anthony Ventresque - University College Dublin
  • Alexey Zagalsky - University of Victoria
  • Martin Monperrus - KTH Royal Institute of Technology