Execution-Guided Neural Program Decoding

Abstract

We present a neural semantic parser that translates natural language questions into executable SQL queries with two key ideas. First, we develop an encoder-decoder model, where the decoder uses a simple type system of SQL to constraint the output prediction, and propose a value-based loss when copying from input tokens. Second, we explore using the execution semantics of SQL to repair decoded programs that result in runtime error or return empty result. We propose two model-agnostics repair approaches, an ensemble model and a local program repair, and demonstrate their effectiveness over the original model. We evaluate our model on the WikiSQL dataset and show that our model achieves close to state-of-the-art results with lesser model complexity.