Hongyu Zhang


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Enhancing Code Generation Performance of Smaller Models by Distilling the Reasoning Ability of LLMs
Zhihong Sun | Chen Lyu | Bolun Li | Yao Wan | Hongyu Zhang | Ge Li | Zhi Jin
Proceedings of the 2024 Joint International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC-COLING 2024)

Large Language Models (LLMs) have recently made significant advances in code generation through the ‘Chain-of-Thought’ prompting technique. This technique empowers the model to autonomously devise “solution plans” to tackle intricate programming challenges, thereby improving its performance in code generation. Nevertheless, smaller models have been struggling to keep up with LLMs in deducing these plans, adversely affecting their code generation capabilities. Given the considerable size and associated deployment costs, along with concerns about data security, many teams opt for deploying smaller models for code generation. Consequently, there arises a compelling need for transferring LLMs’ code generation reasoning abilities to the smaller models. In this paper, we propose the CodePLAN framework, which aims to transfer LLMs’ reasoning capabilities to smaller models through distillation. We adopt a multi-task learning approach, jointly undertaking code generation and solution plan generation tasks, to enhance the code generation capabilities of smaller model. To ensure the superior quality of the solution plans, we advocate for the utilization of backward reasoning and plan sampling strategies. Our experiments show that in comparison to the conventional fine-tuning approach, our approach improves the smaller model’s code generation performance (measured in pass@1 metric) by over 130% on the challenging APPS benchmark.

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Tackling Long Code Search with Splitting, Encoding, and Aggregating
Fan Hu | Yanlin Wang | Lun Du | Hongyu Zhang | Dongmei Zhang | Xirong Li
Proceedings of the 2024 Joint International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC-COLING 2024)

Code search with natural language helps us reuse existing code snippets. Thanks to the Transformer-based pretraining models, the performance of code search has been improved significantly. However, due to the quadratic complexity of multi-head self-attention, there is a limit on the input token length. For efficient training on standard GPUs like V100, existing pretrained code models, including GraphCodeBERT, CodeBERT, RoBERTa (code), take the first 256 tokens by default, which makes them unable to represent the complete information of long code that is greater than 256 tokens. To tackle the long code problem, we propose a new baseline SEA (Split, Encode and Aggregate), which splits long code into code blocks, encodes these blocks into embeddings, and aggregates them to obtain a comprehensive long code representation. With SEA, we could directly use Transformer-based pretraining models to model long code without changing their internal structure and re-pretraining. We also compare SEA with sparse Trasnformer methods. With GraphCodeBERT as the encoder, SEA achieves an overall mean reciprocal ranking score of 0.785, which is 10.1% higher than GraphCodeBERT on the CodeSearchNet benchmark, justifying SEA as a strong baseline for long code search.

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NL2Formula: Generating Spreadsheet Formulas from Natural Language Queries
Wei Zhao | Zhitao Hou | Siyuan Wu | Yan Gao | Haoyu Dong | Yao Wan | Hongyu Zhang | Yulei Sui | Haidong Zhang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EACL 2024

Writing formulas on spreadsheets, such as Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets, is a widespread practice among users performing data analysis. However, crafting formulas on spreadsheets remains a tedious and error-prone task for many end-users, particularly when dealing with complex operations. To alleviate the burden associated with writing spreadsheet formulas, this paper introduces a novel benchmark task called NL2Formula, with the aim to generate executable formulas that are grounded on a spreadsheet table, given a Natural Language (NL) query as input. To accomplish this, we construct a comprehensive dataset consisting of 70,799 paired NL queries and corresponding spreadsheet formulas, covering 21,670 tables and 37 types of formula functions. We realize the NL2Formula task by providing a sequence-to-sequence baseline implementation called fCoder. Experimental results validate the effectiveness of fCoder, demonstrating its superior performance compared to the baseline models. Furthermore, we also compare fCoder with an initial GPT-3.5 model (i.e., text-davinci-003). Lastly, through in-depth error analysis, we identify potential challenges in the NL2Formula task and advocate for further investigation.


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Uncovering Limitations in Text-to-Image Generation: A Contrastive Approach with Structured Semantic Alignment
Qianyu Feng | Yulei Sui | Hongyu Zhang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Despite significant advancements in text-to-image generation models, they still face challenges when it comes to producing highly detailed or complex images based on textual descriptions. In order to explore these limitations, we propose a Structured Semantic Alignment (SSA) method for evaluating text-to-image generation models. SSA focuses on learning structured semantic embeddings across different modalities and aligning them in a joint space. The method employs the following steps to achieve its objective: (i) Generating mutated prompts by substituting words with semantically equivalent or nonequivalent alternatives while preserving the original syntax; (ii) Representing the sentence structure through parsing trees obtained via syntax parsing; (iii) Learning fine-grained structured embeddings that project semantic features from different modalities into a shared embedding space; (iv) Evaluating the semantic consistency between the structured text embeddings and the corresponding visual embeddings. Through experiments conducted on various benchmarks, we have demonstrated that SSA offers improved measurement of semantic consistency of text-to-image generation models. Additionally, it unveils a wide range of generation errors including under-generation, incorrect constituency, incorrect dependency, and semantic confusion. By uncovering these biases and limitations embedded within the models, our proposed method provides valuable insights into their shortcomings when applied to real-world scenarios.

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Automatically Generated Summaries of Video Lectures May Enhance Students’ Learning Experience
Hannah Gonzalez | Jiening Li | Helen Jin | Jiaxuan Ren | Hongyu Zhang | Ayotomiwa Akinyele | Adrian Wang | Eleni Miltsakaki | Ryan Baker | Chris Callison-Burch
Proceedings of the 18th Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications (BEA 2023)

We introduce a novel technique for automatically summarizing lecture videos using large language models such as GPT-3 and we present a user study investigating the effects on the studying experience when automatic summaries are added to lecture videos. We test students under different conditions and find that the students who are shown a summary next to a lecture video perform better on quizzes designed to test the course materials than the students who have access only to the video or the summary. Our findings suggest that adding automatic summaries to lecture videos enhances the learning experience. Qualitatively, students preferred summaries when studying under time constraints.


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Exploring Representation-level Augmentation for Code Search
Haochen Li | Chunyan Miao | Cyril Leung | Yanxian Huang | Yuan Huang | Hongyu Zhang | Yanlin Wang
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Code search, which aims at retrieving the most relevant code fragment for a given natural language query, is a common activity in software development practice. Recently, contrastive learning is widely used in code search research, where many data augmentation approaches for source code (e.g., semantic-preserving program transformation) are proposed to learn better representations. However, these augmentations are at the raw-data level, which requires additional code analysis in the preprocessing stage and additional training cost in the training stage. In this paper, we explore augmentation methods that augment data (both code and query) at representation level which does not require additional data processing and training, and based on this we propose a general format of representation-level augmentation that unifies existing methods. Then, we propose three new augmentation methods (linear extrapolation, binary interpolation, and Gaussian scaling) based on the general format. Furthermore, we theoretically analyze the advantages of the proposed augmentation methods over traditional contrastive learning methods on code search. We experimentally evaluate the proposed representation-level augmentation methods with state-of-the-art code search models on a large-scale public dataset consisting of six programming languages. The experimental results show that our approach can consistently boost the performance of the studied code search models.

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RACE: Retrieval-augmented Commit Message Generation
Ensheng Shi | Yanlin Wang | Wei Tao | Lun Du | Hongyu Zhang | Shi Han | Dongmei Zhang | Hongbin Sun
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Commit messages are important for software development and maintenance. Many neural network-based approaches have been proposed and shown promising results on automatic commit message generation. However, the generated commit messages could be repetitive or redundant. In this paper, we propose RACE, a new retrieval-augmented neural commit message generation method, which treats the retrieved similar commit as an exemplar and leverages it to generate an accurate commit message. As the retrieved commit message may not always accurately describe the content/intent of the current code diff, we also propose an exemplar guider, which learns the semantic similarity between the retrieved and current code diff and then guides the generation of commit message based on the similarity. We conduct extensive experiments on a large public dataset with five programming languages. Experimental results show that RACE can outperform all baselines. Furthermore, RACE can boost the performance of existing Seq2Seq models in commit message generation.

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Accelerating Code Search with Deep Hashing and Code Classification
Wenchao Gu | Yanlin Wang | Lun Du | Hongyu Zhang | Shi Han | Dongmei Zhang | Michael Lyu
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Code search is to search reusable code snippets from source code corpus based on natural languages queries. Deep learning-based methods on code search have shown promising results. However, previous methods focus on retrieval accuracy, but lacked attention to the efficiency of the retrieval process. We propose a novel method CoSHC to accelerate code search with deep hashing and code classification, aiming to perform efficient code search without sacrificing too much accuracy. To evaluate the effectiveness of CoSHC, we apply our methodon five code search models. Extensive experimental results indicate that compared with previous code search baselines, CoSHC can save more than 90% of retrieval time meanwhile preserving at least 99% of retrieval accuracy.


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APIRecX: Cross-Library API Recommendation via Pre-Trained Language Model
Yuning Kang | Zan Wang | Hongyu Zhang | Junjie Chen | Hanmo You
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

For programmers, learning the usage of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) of a software library is important yet difficult. API recommendation tools can help developers use APIs by recommending which APIs to be used next given the APIs that have been written. Traditionally, language models such as N-gram are applied to API recommendation. However, because the software libraries keep changing and new libraries keep emerging, new APIs are common. These new APIs can be seen as OOV (out of vocabulary) words and cannot be handled well by existing API recommendation approaches due to the lack of training data. In this paper, we propose APIRecX, the first cross-library API recommendation approach, which uses BPE to split each API call in each API sequence and pre-trains a GPT based language model. It then recommends APIs by fine-tuning the pre-trained model. APIRecX can migrate the knowledge of existing libraries to a new library, and can recommend APIs that are previously regarded as OOV. We evaluate APIRecX on six libraries and the results confirm its effectiveness by comparing with two typical API recommendation approaches.

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CAST: Enhancing Code Summarization with Hierarchical Splitting and Reconstruction of Abstract Syntax Trees
Ensheng Shi | Yanlin Wang | Lun Du | Hongyu Zhang | Shi Han | Dongmei Zhang | Hongbin Sun
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Code summarization aims to generate concise natural language descriptions of source code, which can help improve program comprehension and maintenance. Recent studies show that syntactic and structural information extracted from abstract syntax trees (ASTs) is conducive to summary generation. However, existing approaches fail to fully capture the rich information in ASTs because of the large size/depth of ASTs. In this paper, we propose a novel model CAST that hierarchically splits and reconstructs ASTs. First, we hierarchically split a large AST into a set of subtrees and utilize a recursive neural network to encode the subtrees. Then, we aggregate the embeddings of subtrees by reconstructing the split ASTs to get the representation of the complete AST. Finally, AST representation, together with source code embedding obtained by a vanilla code token encoder, is used for code summarization. Extensive experiments, including the ablation study and the human evaluation, on benchmarks have demonstrated the power of CAST. To facilitate reproducibility, our code and data are available at https://github.com/DeepSoftwareAnalytics/CAST.