Nathan Schucher


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The Power of Prompt Tuning for Low-Resource Semantic Parsing
Nathan Schucher | Siva Reddy | Harm de Vries
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Prompt tuning has recently emerged as an effective method for adapting pre-trained language models to a number of language understanding and generation tasks. In this paper, we investigate prompt tuning for semantic parsing—the task of mapping natural language utterances onto formal meaning representations. On the low-resource splits of Overnight and TOPv2, we find that a prompt tuned T5-xl significantly outperforms its fine-tuned counterpart, as well as strong GPT-3 and BART baselines. We also conduct ablation studies across different model scales and target representations, finding that, with increasing model scale, prompt tuned T5 models improve at generating target representations that are far from the pre-training distribution.


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PICARD: Parsing Incrementally for Constrained Auto-Regressive Decoding from Language Models
Torsten Scholak | Nathan Schucher | Dzmitry Bahdanau
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Large pre-trained language models for textual data have an unconstrained output space; at each decoding step, they can produce any of 10,000s of sub-word tokens. When fine-tuned to target constrained formal languages like SQL, these models often generate invalid code, rendering it unusable. We propose PICARD (code available at, a method for constraining auto-regressive decoders of language models through incremental parsing. PICARD helps to find valid output sequences by rejecting inadmissible tokens at each decoding step. On the challenging Spider and CoSQL text-to-SQL translation tasks, we show that PICARD transforms fine-tuned T5 models with passable performance into state-of-the-art solutions.