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InstructPipe: Building Visual Programming Pipelines with Human Instructions

Zhongyi Zhou
Jing Jin
Xiuxiu Yuan
Jun Jiang
Jingtao Zhou
Yiyi Huang
Kristen Wright
Jason Mayes
Mark Sherwood
Ram Iyengar
Na Li
arXiv, vol. 2312.09672 (2023)


Visual programming provides beginner-level programmers with a coding-free experience to build their customized pipelines. Existing systems require users to build a pipeline entirely from scratch, implying that novice users need to set up and link appropriate nodes all by themselves, starting from a blank workspace. We present InstructPipe, an AI assistant that enables users to start prototyping machine learning (ML) pipelines with text instructions. We designed two LLM modules and a code interpreter to execute our solution. LLM modules generate pseudocode of a target pipeline, and the interpreter renders a pipeline in the node-graph editor for further human-AI collaboration. Technical evaluations reveal that InstructPipe reduces user interactions by 81.1% compared to traditional methods. Our user study (N=16) showed that InstructPipe empowers novice users to streamline their workflow in creating desired ML pipelines, reduce their learning curve, and spark innovative ideas with open-ended commands.