When writing programs, people have the ability to tackle a new complex task by decomposing it into smaller and more familiar subtasks. While it is difficult to measure whether neural program synthesis methods have similar capabilities, we can measure whether they compositionally generalize, that is, whether a model that has been trained on the simpler subtasks is subsequently able to solve more complex tasks. In this paper, we characterize several different forms of compositional generalization that are desirable in program synthesis, forming a meta-benchmark which we use to create generalization tasks for two popular datasets, RobustFill and DeepCoder. We then propose ExeDec, a novel decomposition-based synthesis strategy that predicts execution subgoals to solve problems step-by-step informed by program execution at each step. ExeDec has better synthesis performance and greatly improved compositional generalization ability compared to baselines.
Search is an important technique in program synthesis that allows for adaptive strategies such as focusing on particular search directions based on execution results. Several prior works have demonstrated that neural models are effective at guiding program synthesis searches. However, a common drawback of those approaches is the inability to handle iterative loops, higher-order functions, or lambda functions, thus limiting prior neural searches from synthesizing longer and more general programs. We address this gap by designing a search algorithm called LambdaBeam that can construct arbitrary lambda functions that compose operations within a given DSL. We create semantic vector representations of the execution behavior of the lambda functions and train a neural policy network to choose which lambdas to construct during search, and pass them as arguments to higher-order functions to perform looping computations. Our experiments show that LambdaBeam outperforms neural, symbolic, and LLM-based techniques in an integer list manipulation domain.
Computational notebooks, such as Jupyter notebooks, are interactive computing environments that are ubiquitous among data scientists to perform data wrangling and analytic tasks. To measure the performance of AI pair programmers that automatically synthesize programs for those tasks given natural language (NL) intents from users, we build ARCADE, a benchmark of 1082 code generation problems using the pandas data analysis framework in data science notebooks. ARCADE features multiple rounds of NL-to-code problems from the same notebook. It requires a model to understand rich multi-modal contexts, such as existing notebook cells and their execution states as well as previous turns of interaction. To establish a strong baseline on this challenging task, we develop PaChiNCo, a 62B code language model (LM) for Python computational notebooks, which significantly outperforms public code LMs. Finally, we explore few-shot prompting strategies to elicit better code with step-by-step decomposition and NL explanation, showing the potential to improve the diversity and explainability of model predictions.
Graph representations of programs are commonly a central element of machine learning for code research. We introduce an open source Python library python_graphs that applies static analysis to construct graph representations of Python programs suitable for training machine learning models. Our library admits the construction of control-flow graphs, data-flow graphs, and composite ``program graphs'' that combine control-flow, data-flow, syntactic, and lexical information about a program. We present the capabilities and limitations of the library, perform a case study applying the library to millions of competitive programming submissions, and showcase the library's utility for machine learning research.
Large language models have been shown to achieve remarkable performance across a variety of natural language tasks using few-shot learning, which drastically reduces the number of task-specific training examples needed to adapt the model to a particular application. To further our understanding of the impact of scale on few-shot learning, we trained a 540-billion parameter, densely activated, Transformer language model, which we call Pathways Language Model PaLM. We trained PaLM on 6144 TPU v4 chips using Pathways, a new ML system which enables highly efficient training across multiple TPU Pods. We demonstrate continued benefits of scaling by achieving state-of-the-art few-shot learning results on hundreds of language understanding and generation benchmarks. On a number of these tasks, PaLM 540B achieves breakthrough performance, outperforming the finetuned state-of-the-art on a suite of multi-step reasoning tasks, and outperforming average human performance on the recently released BIG-bench benchmark. A significant number of BIG-bench tasks showed discontinuous improvements from model scale, meaning that performance steeply increased as we scaled to our largest model. PaLM also has strong capabilities in multilingual tasks and source code generation, which we demonstrate on a wide array of benchmarks. We additionally provide a comprehensive analysis on bias and toxicity, and study the extent of training data memorization with respect to model scale. Finally, we discuss the ethical considerations related to large language models and discuss potential mitigation strategies.
When writing programs, people have the ability to tackle a new complex task by decomposing it into smaller and more familiar subtasks. While it is difficult to measure whether neural program synthesis methods have similar capabilities, what we can measure is whether they compositionally generalize, that is, whether a model that has been trained on the simpler subtasks is subsequently able to solve more complex tasks. In this paper, we focus on measuring the ability of learned program synthesizers to compositionally generalize. We first characterize several different axes along which program synthesis methods would be desired to generalize, e.g., length generalization, or the ability to combine known subroutines in new ways that do not occur in the training data. Based on this characterization, we introduce a benchmark suite of tasks to assess these abilities based on two popular existing datasets, SCAN and RobustFill. Finally, we make first attempts to improve the compositional generalization ability of Transformer models along these axes through novel attention mechanisms that draw inspiration from a human-like decomposition strategy. Empirically, we find our modified Transformer models generally perform better than natural baselines, but the tasks remain challenging.
Many approaches to program synthesis perform a search within an enormous space of programs to find one that satisfies a given specification. Prior works have used neural models to guide combinatorial search algorithms, but such approaches still explore a huge portion of the search space and quickly become intractable as the size of the desired program increases. To tame the search space blowup, we propose training a neural model to learn a hands-on search policy for bottom-up synthesis, instead of relying on a combinatorial search algorithm. Our approach, called CrossBeam, uses the neural model to choose how to combine previously-explored programs into new programs, taking into account the search history and partial program executions. Motivated by work in structured prediction on learning to search, CrossBeam is trained on-policy using data extracted from its own bottom-up searches on training tasks. We evaluate CrossBeam in two very different domains, string manipulation and logic programming. We observe that CrossBeam learns to search efficiently, exploring much smaller portions of the program space compared to the state-of-the-art.
Program synthesis is challenging largely because of the difficulty of search in a large space of programs. Human programmers routinely tackle the task of writing complex programs by writing sub-programs and then analysing their intermediate results to compose them in appropriate ways. Motivated by this intuition, we present a new synthesis approach that leverages learning to guide a bottom-up search over programs. In particular, we train a model to prioritize compositions of intermediate values during search conditioned on a given set of input-output examples. This is a powerful combination because of several emergent properties: First, in bottom-up search, intermediate programs can be executed, providing semantic information to the neural network. Second, given the concrete values from those executions, we can exploit rich features based on recent work on property signatures. Finally, bottom-up search allows the system substantial flexibility in what order to generate the solution, allowing the synthesizer to build up a program from multiple smaller sub-programs. Overall, our empirical evaluation finds that the combination of learning and bottom-up search is remarkably effective, even with simple supervised learning approaches. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our technique on a new data set for synthesis of string transformation programs.
The success and popularity of deep learning is on the rise, partially due to powerful deep learning frameworks such as TensorFlow and PyTorch that make it easier to develop deep learning models. However, these libraries also come with steep learning curves, since programming in these frameworks is quite different from traditional imperative programming with explicit loops and conditionals. In this work, we present a tool called TF-Coder for programming by example in TensorFlow. TF-Coder uses a bottom-up weighted enumerative search, with value-based pruning of equivalent expressions and flexible type- and value-based filtering to ensure that expressions adhere to various requirements imposed by the TensorFlow library. We also train models that predict TensorFlow operations from features of the input and output tensors and natural language descriptions of tasks, and use the models to prioritize relevant operations during the search. TF-Coder solves 63 of 70 real-world tasks within 5 minutes, often finding solutions that are simpler than those written by TensorFlow experts.