Deep Learning for Code Generation using Snippet Level Parallel Data

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Date
2023-01-05
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Virginia Tech
Abstract

In the last few years, interest in the application of deep learning methods for software engineering tasks has surged. A variety of different approaches like transformer based methods, statistical machine translation models, models inspired from natural language settings have been proposed and shown to be effective at tasks like code summarization, code synthesis and code translation. Multiple benchmark data sets have also been released but all suffer from one limitation or the other. Some data sets only support a select few programming languages while others support only certain tasks. These limitations restrict researchers' ability to be able to perform thorough analyses of their proposed methods. In this work we aim to alleviate some of the limitations faced by researchers who work in the paradigm of deep learning applications for software engineering tasks. We introduce a large, parallel, multi-lingual programming language data set that supports tasks like code summarization, code translation, code synthesis and code search in 7 different languages. We provide benchmark results for the current state of the art models on all these tasks and we also explore some limitations of current evaluation metrics for code related tasks. We provide a detailed analysis of the compilability of code generated by deep learning models because that is a better measure of ascertaining usability of code as opposed to scores like BLEU and CodeBLEU. Motivated by our findings about compilability, we also propose a reinforcement learning based method that incorporates code compilability and syntax level feedback as rewards and we demonstrate it's effectiveness in generating code that has less syntax errors as compared to baselines. In addition, we also develop a web portal that hosts the models we have trained for code translation. The portal allows translation between 42 possible language pairs and also allows users to check compilability of the generated code. The intent of this website is to give researchers and other audiences a chance to interact with and probe our work in a user-friendly way, without requiring them to write their own code to load and inference the models.

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Keywords
Deep Learning, Code Dataset, Code Translation, Software Development, Compilation, Reinforcement Learning
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