This paper introduces ARENA (Automatic RElease Notes generAtor), an approach for the automatic generation of release notes. ARENA extracts changes from the source code, summarizes them, and integrates them with information from versioning systems and issue trackers. It was designed based on the manual analysis of 1,000 existing release notes. To evaluate the quality of the ARENA release notes, we performed three empirical studies involving a total of 53 participants (45 professional developers and 8 students). The results indicate that the ARENA release notes are very good approximations of those produced by developers and often include important information that is missing in the manually produced release notes.
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