Data Augmentation for Improving Emotion Recognition in Software Engineering Communication
Emotions (e.g., Joy, Anger) are prevalent in daily software engineering (SE) activities, and are known to be significant indicators of work productivity (e.g., bug fixing efficiency). Recent studies have shown that directly applying general purpose emotion classification tools to SE corpora is not effective. Even within the SE domain, tool performance degrades significantly when trained on one communication channel and evaluated on another (e.g, StackOverflow vs. GitHub comments). Retraining a tool with channel-specific data takes significant effort since manually annotating large datasets of ground truth data is expensive.
In this paper, we address this data scarcity problem by automatically creating new training data using a data augmentation technique. Based on an analysis of the types of errors made by popular SE-specific emotion recognition tools, we specifically target our data augmentation strategy in order to improve the performance of emotion recognition. Our results show an average improvement of 9.3% in micro F1-Score for three existing emotion classification tools (ESEM-E, EMTk, SEntiMoji) when trained with our best augmentation strategy.