Alternate Task Technique for Natural Language to Code in Low-Resource Languages
COOPER: Learning what to teach models for code generation
Augmented Embeddings for Custom Retrievals

Information retrieval involves selecting artifacts from a corpus that are most relevant to a given search query. The flavor of retrieval typically used in classical applications can be termed as homogeneous and relaxed, where queries and corpus elements are both natural language (NL) utterances (homogeneous) and the goal is to pick most relevant elements from the corpus in the Top-K, where K is large, such as 10, 25, 50 or even 100 (relaxed). Recently, retrieval is being used extensively in preparing prompts for large language models (LLMs) to enable LLMs to perform targeted tasks. These new applications of retrieval are often heterogeneous and strict – the queries and the corpus contain different kinds of entities, such as NL and code, and there is a need for improving retrieval at Top-K for small values of K, such as K=1 or 3 or 5. Current dense retrieval techniques based on pretrained embeddings provide a general-purpose and powerful approach for retrieval, but they are oblivious to task-specific notions of similarity of heterogeneous artifacts. We introduce Adapted Dense Retrieval, a mechanism to transform embeddings to enable improved task-specific, heterogeneous and strict retrieval. Adapted Dense Retrieval works by learning a low-rank residual adaptation of the pretrained black-box embedding. We empirically validate our approach by showing improvements over the state-of-the-art general-purpose embeddings-based baseline.

From Words to Code: Harnessing Data for Program Synthesis from Natural Language

Creating programs to correctly manipulate data is a difficult task, as the underlying programming languages and APIs can be challenging to learn for many users who are not skilled programmers. Large language models (LLMs) demonstrate remarkable potential for generating code from natural language, but in the data manipulation domain, apart from the natural language (NL) description of the intended task, we also have the dataset on which the task is to be performed, or the “data context”. Existing approaches have utilized data context in a limited way by simply adding relevant information from the input data into the prompts sent to the LLM. In this work, we utilize the available input data to execute the candidate programs generated by the LLMs and gather their outputs. We introduce semantic reranking, a technique to rerank the programs generated by LLMs based on three signals coming the program outputs - (a) semantic filtering and well-formedness based score tuning - do programs even generate well-formed outputs, (b) semantic interleaving - how do the outputs from different candidates compare to each other, and (c) output-based score tuning:how do the outputs compare to outputs predicted for the same task. We provide theoretical justification for semantic interleaving. We also introduce temperature mixing, where we combine samples generated by LLMs using both high and low temperatures. We extensively evaluate our approach in three domains, namely databases (SQL), data science (Pandas) and business intelligence (Excel’s Power Query M) on a variety of new and existing benchmarks. We observe substantial gains across domains, with improvements of up to 45% in top-1 accuracy and 34% in top-3 accuracy.

Landmarks and Regions: A Robust Approach to Data Extraction

We propose a new approach to extracting data items or field values from semi-structured documents. Examples of such problems include extracting passenger name, departure time and departure airport from a travel itinerary, or extracting price of an item from a purchase receipt. Traditional approaches to data extraction use machine learning or program synthesis to process the whole document to extract the desired fields. Such approaches are not robust to format changes in the document, and the extraction process typically fails even if changes are made to parts of the document that are unrelated to the desired fields of interest. We propose a new approach to data extraction based on the concepts of landmarks and regions. Humans routinely use landmarks in manual processing of documents to zoom in and focus their attention on small regions of interest in the document. Inspired by this human intuition, we use the notion of landmarks in program synthesis to automatically synthesize extraction programs that first extract a small region of interest, and then automatically extract the desired value from the region in a subsequent step. We have implemented our landmark-based extraction approach in a tool LRSyn, and show extensive evaluation on documents in HTML as well as scanned images of invoices and receipts. Our results show that our approach is robust to various types of format changes that routinely happen in real-world settings.