CrossCodeEval: A Diverse and Multilingual Benchmark for Cross-File Code Completion

Yangruibo Ding*1, Zijian Wang*2, Wasi Uddin Ahmad*2, Hantian Ding2, Ming Tan2,
Nihal Jain2, Murali Krishna Ramanathan2 Ramesh Nallapati2 Parminder Bhatia2 Dan Roth2 Bing Xiang2
1Columbia University, 2AWS AI Labs


Existing code completion datasets such as HumanEval and MBPP mostly focus on single-file tasks, neglecting the real-world complexity of multi-file software projects. To bridge this gap, we present CrossCodeEval, a multilingual benchmark built on diverse real-world repositories in Python, Java, TypeScript, and C#. It uses a static-analysis-based method to strictly require cross-file context for accurate code completion. Experiments on leading models like CodeGen and StarCoder revealed that, while performance improves when given cross-file context, even the top models and context retrieval methods together are yet to achieve optimal performance. This demonstrates the effectiveness of CrossCodeEval, and calls for future development on models that can leverage extensive cross-file context and better code retrievers.

How to use?

CrossCodeEval's code and data are available at


Code completion models have made significant progress in recent years, yet current popular evaluation datasets, such as HumanEval and MBPP, predominantly focus on code completion tasks within a single file. This over-simplified setting falls short of representing the real-world software development scenario where repositories span multiple files with numerous cross-file dependencies, and accessing and understanding cross-file context is often required to complete the code correctly.

To fill in this gap, we propose CrossCodeEval, a diverse and multilingual code completion benchmark that necessitates an in-depth cross-file contextual understanding to complete the code accurately. CrossCodeEval is built on a diverse set of real-world, open-sourced, permissively-licensed repositories in four popular programming languages: Python, Java, TypeScript, and C#. To create examples that strictly require cross-file context for accurate completion, we propose a straightforward yet efficient static-analysis-based approach to pinpoint the use of cross-file context within the current file.

Extensive experiments on state-of-the-art code language models like CodeGen and StarCoder demonstrate that CrossCodeEval is extremely challenging when the relevant cross-file context is absent, and we see clear improvements when adding these context into the prompt. However, despite such improvements, the pinnacle of performance remains notably unattained even with the highest-performing model, indicating that CrossCodeEval is also capable of assessing model's capability in leveraging extensive context to make better code completion. Finally, we benchmarked various methods in retrieving cross-file context, and show that CrossCodeEval can also be used to measure the capability of code retrievers.

Dataset Construction

We collect permissively-licensed repositories from GitHub across four programming languages: Python, Java, TypeScript, and C#. We leverage a static-analysis-based approach to identify code fragments that require cross-file context automatically. Specifically, we replace import statements with empty classes, and run static analysis to identify undefined names which locate cross-file usages.

Statistics: We present the statistics of CrossCodeEval. We use the StarCoder tokenizer to compute the number of tokens.

Main Results

We benchmark CrossCodeEval with popular public and proprietary large language models: CodeGen, SantaCoder, StarCoder, and GPT-3.5-turbo. We prompt the language models in the zero-shot manner under the following three settings with different levels of cross file context.

  • Only In-File Context (baseline): We only provide code context from the current file.
  • Retrieved Cross-file Context: We adopted the retrieve-and-generate (RG) framework by Zhang et al., 2023 for repository-level code completion.
  • Retrieval with Reference: To estimate the upper bound impacts of cross-file context retrieval, we make use of not only the in-file context (as above), but also the reference code completion to retrieve cross-file context.

In evaluating the performance of code language models, we report performance in two main categories: code match and identifier match.

  • Code Match: The code match metric directly compares the generated code with the reference and is measured using exact match (EM) and edit similarity (ES).
  • Identifier Match: This metric evaluates models' ability to predict the correct application programming interfaces (APIs) in a code snippet.

Our results show that code LMs perform poorly with only current-file context. The performance improves dramatically when the cross-file context is added to the prompts, regardless of the size of code LMs.


Improved vs. Degraded Code Completions

Looking at changes in the number of correct completions (based on exact match to the references) across different prompt settings, we find all models follow a trend that the performance improves with better cross-file context. However, the variation of correct/incorrect generation is significant among different models.

Identifier Overlap with Retrieved Cross-file Context

Identifiers are a significant part of programming language constructs that cover API mentions in source code. We find that an increased ratio of identifier overlap between the retrieved context and the reference solution generally results in higher performance, demonstrating a positive correlation. This calls for an investigation into retrieval techniques, with a particular emphasis on key terms like identifiers for cross-file context retrieval.

CrossCodeEval as Code Retrieval Benchmark

Given the strong dependency that the correct prediction requires an accurate retrieval of relevant cross-file context, we propose to use CrossCodeEval as a code retrieval benchmark. We find that OpenAI's ada embedding generally performs the best, but its downstream generation accuracy is still suboptimal (<20 EM), calling for future development of better code retriever.


  title={CrossCodeEval: A Diverse and Multilingual Benchmark for Cross-File Code Completion},
  author={Yangruibo Ding, Zijian Wang, Wasi Uddin Ahmad, Hantian Ding, Ming Tan, Nihal Jain, Murali Krishna Ramanathan, Ramesh Nallapati, Parminder Bhatia, Dan Roth, Bing Xiang},