AAAI Publications, Thirty-Second AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Glass-Box Program Synthesis: A Machine Learning Approach
Konstantina Christakopoulou, Adam Tauman Kalai

Last modified: 2018-04-25


Recently proposed models which learn to write computer programs from data use either input/output examples or rich execution traces. Instead, we argue that a novel alternative is to use a glass-box scoring function, given as a program itself that can be directly inspected. Glass-box optimization covers a wide range of problems, from computing the greatest common divisor of two integers, to learning-to-learn problems. In this paper, we present an intelligent search system which learns, given the partial program and the glass-box problem, the probabilities over the space of programs. We empirically demonstrate that our informed search procedure leads to significant improvements compared to brute-force program search, both in terms of accuracy and time. For our experiments we use rich context free grammars inspired by number theory, text processing, and algebra. Our results show that (i) running our framework iteratively can considerably increase the number of problems solved, (ii) our framework can improve itself even in domain agnostic scenarios, and (iii) it can solve problems that would be otherwise too slow to solve with brute-force search.


Program Synthesis; Machine Learning; Problem Solving

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