Document Type : Original Research Paper


Computer Engineering Department, Faculty of Technology and Engineering, Shahrekord University, Shahrekord, Iran.


Background and Objectives: Community question-answering (CQA) websites have become increasingly popular as platforms for individuals to seek and share knowledge. Identifying users with a special shape of expertise on CQA websites is a beneficial task for both companies and individuals. Specifically, finding those who have a general understanding of certain areas but lack expertise in other fields is crucial for companies who are planning internship programs. These users, called dash-shaped users, are willing to work for low wages and have the potential to quickly develop into skilled professionals, thus minimizing the risk of unsuccessful recruitment. Due to the vast number of users on CQA websites, they provide valuable resources for finding individuals with various levels of expertise. This study is the first of its kind to directly classify CQA users based solely on the textual content of their posts.
Methods: To achieve this objective, we propose an ensemble of advanced deep learning algorithms and traditional machine learning methods for the binary classification of CQA users into two categories: those with dash-shaped expertise and those without. In the proposed method, we used the stack generalization to fuse the results of the dep and machine learning methods. To evaluate the effectiveness of our approach, we conducted an extensive experiment on three large datasets focused on Android, C#, and Java topics extracted from the Stack Overflow website.
Results: The results on four datasets of the Stack Overflow, demonstrate that our ensemble method not only outperforms baseline methods including seven traditional machine learning and six deep models, but it achieves higher performance than state-of-the-art deep models by an average of 10% accuracy and F1-measure.
Conclusion: The proposed model showed promising results in confirming that by using only their textual content of questions, we can classify the users in CQA websites. Specifically, the results showed that using the contextual content of the questions, the proposed model can be used for detecting the dash-shaped users precisely. Moreover, the proposed model is not limited to detecting dash-shaped users. It can also classify other shapes of expertise, such as T- and C-shaped users, which are valuable for forming agile software teams. Additionally, our model can be used as a filter method for downstream applications, like intern recommendations.


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