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Neural Program Synthesis with a Differentiable Program Fixer

Matej Balog
Rishabh Singh
arXiv (2020)


We present a new program synthesis approach that combines an encoder-decoder based synthesis architecture with a differentiable program fixer. Our approach is inspired from the fact that human developers seldom get their program correct in the first attempt, and perform iterative testing-based program fixing to get to the desired program functionality. Similarly, our approach first learns a distribution over programs conditioned on an encoding of a set of input-output examples, and then iteratively performs fix operations using the program fixer module. The fixer module takes as input the original examples and the current program outputs on example inputs, and generates a new distribution over the programs with the goal of reducing the discrepancies between the current program outputs and the desired example outputs. We train our architecture end-to-end on the RobustFill domain, and show that the addition of fixer module leads to a significant improvement of 7% on synthesis compared to using beam search.

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