Vulnerability, NVD, CVE, Natural Language Processing, Transformer, LLM


Software plays an integral role in powering numerous everyday computing gadgets. As our reliance on software continues to grow, so does the prevalence of software vulnerabilities, with significant implications for organizations and users. As such, documenting vulnerabilities and tracking their development becomes crucial. Vulnerability databases addressed this issue by storing a record with various attributes for each discovered vulnerability. However, their contents suffer several drawbacks, which we address in our work. In this dissertation, we investigate the weaknesses associated with vulnerability descriptions in public repositories and alleviate such weaknesses through Natural Language Processing (NLP) approaches. The first contribution examines vulnerability descriptions in those databases and approaches to improve them. We propose a new automated method leveraging external sources to enrich the scope and context of a vulnerability description. Moreover, we exploit fine-tuned pretrained language models for normalizing the resulting description. The second contribution investigates the need for uniform and normalized structure in vulnerability descriptions. We address this need by breaking the description of a vulnerability into multiple constituents and developing a multi-task model to create a new uniform and normalized summary that maintains the necessary attributes of the vulnerability using the extracted features while ensuring a consistent vulnerability description. Our method proved effective in generating new summaries with the same structure across a collection of various vulnerability descriptions and types. Our final contribution investigates the feasibility of assigning the Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) attribute to a vulnerability based on its description. CWE offers a comprehensive framework that categorizes similar exposures into classes, representing the types of exploitation associated with such vulnerabilities. Our approach utilizing pre-trained language models is shown to outperform Large Language Model (LLM) for this task. Overall, this dissertation provides various technical approaches exploiting advances in NLP to improve publicly available vulnerability databases.

Completion Date




Committee Chair

Mohaisen, David


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Degree Program

Computer Engineering








Release Date

December 2028

Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)

Campus Location

Orlando (Main) Campus

Restricted to the UCF community until December 2028; it will then be open access.