Large language models (LLMs) have recently become remarkably good at improving developer productivity for high-resource programming languages. These models use two kinds of data: large amounts of unlabeled code samples for pretraining and relatively smaller amounts of labeled code samples for fine-tuning or in-context learning. Unfortunately, many programming languages are low-resource, lacking labeled samples for most tasks and often even lacking unlabeled samples. Therefore, users of low-resource languages (e.g., legacy or new languages) miss out on the benefits of LLMs. Cross-lingual transfer learning uses data from a source language to improve model performance on a target language. It has been well-studied for natural languages, but has received little attention for programming languages. This paper reports extensive experiments on four tasks using a transformer-based LLM and 11 to 41 programming languages to explore the following questions. First, how well cross-lingual transfer works for a given task across different language pairs. Second, given a task and target language, how to best choose a source language. Third, the characteristics of a language pair that are predictive of transfer performance, and fourth, how that depends on the given task.
There have been many papers with algorithms for improving fairness of machine-learning classifiers for tabular data. Unfortunately, most use only very few datasets for their experimental evaluation. We introduce a suite of functions for fetching 20 fairness datasets and providing associated fairness metadata. Hopefully, these will lead to more rigorous experimental evaluations in future fairness-aware machine learning research.
Low-code programming allows citizen developers to create programs with minimal coding effort, typically via visual (e.g. drag-and-drop) interfaces. In parallel, recent AI-powered tools such as Copilot and ChatGPT generate programs from natural language instructions. We argue that these modalities are complementary: tools like ChatGPT greatly reduce the need to memorize large APIs but still require their users to read (and modify) programs, whereas visual tools abstract away most or all programming but struggle to provide easy access to large APIs. At their intersection, we propose LowCoder, the first low-code tool for developing AI pipelines that supports both a visual programming interface (LowCoder_VP) and an AI-powered natural language interface (LowCoder_NL). We leverage this tool to provide some of the first insights into whether and how these two modalities help programmers by conducting a user study. We task 20 developers with varying levels of AI expertise with implementing four ML pipelines using LowCoder, replacing the LowCoder_NL component with a simple keyword search in half the tasks. Overall, we find that LowCoder is especially useful for (i) Discoverability: using LowCoder_NL, participants discovered new operators in 75% of the tasks, compared to just 32.5% and 27.5% using web search or scrolling through options respectively in the keyword-search condition, and (ii) Iterative Composition: 82.5% of tasks were successfully completed and many initial pipelines were further successfully improved. Qualitative analysis shows that AI helps users discover how to implement constructs when they know what to do, but still fails to support novices when they lack clarity on what they want to accomplish. Overall, our work highlights the benefits of combining the power of AI with low-code programming.
Bias mitigators can improve algorithmic fairness in machine learning models, but their effect on fairness is often not stable across data splits. A popular approach to train more stable models is ensemble learning, but unfortunately, it is unclear how to combine ensembles with mitigators to best navigate trade-offs between fairness and predictive performance. To that end, we built an open-source library enabling the modular composition of 8 mitigators, 4 ensembles, and their corresponding hyperparameters, and we empirically explored the space of configurations on 13 datasets. We distilled our insights from this exploration in the form of a guidance diagram for practitioners that we demonstrate is robust and reproducible.
* arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:2202.00751
There are several bias mitigators that can reduce algorithmic bias in machine learning models but, unfortunately, the effect of mitigators on fairness is often not stable when measured across different data splits. A popular approach to train more stable models is ensemble learning. Ensembles, such as bagging, boosting, voting, or stacking, have been successful at making predictive performance more stable. One might therefore ask whether we can combine the advantages of bias mitigators and ensembles? To explore this question, we first need bias mitigators and ensembles to work together. We built an open-source library enabling the modular composition of 10 mitigators, 4 ensembles, and their corresponding hyperparameters. Based on this library, we empirically explored the space of combinations on 13 datasets, including datasets commonly used in fairness literature plus datasets newly curated by our library. Furthermore, we distilled the results into a guidance diagram for practitioners. We hope this paper will contribute towards improving stability in bias mitigation.
GraphQL is a query language for APIs and a runtime for executing those queries, fetching the requested data from existing microservices, REST APIs, databases, or other sources. Its expressiveness and its flexibility have made it an attractive candidate for API providers in many industries, especially through the web. A major drawback to blindly servicing a client's query in GraphQL is that the cost of a query can be unexpectedly large, creating computation and resource overload for the provider, and API rate-limit overages and infrastructure overload for the client. To mitigate these drawbacks, it is necessary to efficiently estimate the cost of a query before executing it. Estimating query cost is challenging, because GraphQL queries have a nested structure, GraphQL APIs follow different design conventions, and the underlying data sources are hidden. Estimates based on worst-case static query analysis have had limited success because they tend to grossly overestimate cost. We propose a machine-learning approach to efficiently and accurately estimate the query cost. We also demonstrate the power of this approach by testing it on query-response data from publicly available commercial APIs. Our framework is efficient and predicts query costs with high accuracy, consistently outperforming the static analysis by a large margin.
Automated machine learning makes it easier for data scientists to develop pipelines by searching over possible choices for hyperparameters, algorithms, and even pipeline topologies. Unfortunately, the syntax for automated machine learning tools is inconsistent with manual machine learning, with each other, and with error checks. Furthermore, few tools support advanced features such as topology search or higher-order operators. This paper introduces Lale, a library of high-level Python interfaces that simplifies and unifies automated machine learning in a consistent way.
* KDD Workshop on Automation in Machine Learning (AutoML@KDD), August
AI automation tools need machine-readable hyperparameter schemas to define their search spaces. At the same time, AI libraries often come with good human-readable documentation. While such documentation contains most of the necessary information, it is unfortunately not ready to consume by tools. This paper describes how to automatically mine Python docstrings in AI libraries to extract JSON Schemas for their hyperparameters. We evaluate our approach on 119 transformers and estimators from three different libraries and find that it is effective at extracting machine-readable schemas. Our vision is to reduce the burden to manually create and maintain such schemas for AI automation tools and broaden the reach of automation to larger libraries and richer schemas.
Machine-learning automation tools, ranging from humble grid-search to hyperopt, auto-sklearn, and TPOT, help explore large search spaces of possible pipelines. Unfortunately, each of these tools has a different syntax for specifying its search space, leading to lack of portability, missed relevant points, and spurious points that are inconsistent with error checks and documentation of the searchable base components. This paper proposes using types (such as enum, float, or dictionary) both for checking the correctness of, and for automatically searching over, hyperparameters and pipeline configurations. Using types for both of these purposes guarantees consistency. We present Lale, an embedded language that resembles scikit learn but provides better automation, correctness checks, and portability. Lale extends the reach of existing automation tools across data modalities (tables, text, images, time-series) and programming languages (Python, Java, R). Thus, data scientists can leverage automation while remaining in control of their work.