Bots in software engineering: a systematic mapping study

Sivasurya Santhanam, Tobias Hecking, Andreas Schreiber, Stefan Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Bots have emerged from research prototypes to deployable systems due to the recent developments in machine learning, natural language processing and understanding techniques. In software engineering, bots range from simple automated scripts to decision-making autonomous systems. The spectrum of applications of bots in software engineering is so wide and diverse, that a comprehensive overview and categorization of such bots is needed. Existing works considered selective bots to be analyzed and failed to provide the overall picture. Hence it is significant to categorize bots in software engineering through analyzing why, what and how the bots are applied in software engineering. We approach the problem with a systematic mapping study based on the research articles published in this topic. This study focuses on classification of bots used in software engineering, the various dimensions of the characteristics, the more frequently researched area, potential research spaces to be explored and the perception of bots in the developer community. This study aims to provide an introduction and a broad overview of bots used in software engineering. Discussions of the feedback and results from several studies provide interesting insights and prospective future directions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere866
JournalPeerJ Computer Science
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Bots
  • Botse
  • Conversational ai
  • Digital assistants
  • Software engineering


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