In this position paper, we describe our vision of the future of machine-based programming through a categorical examination of three pillars of research. Those pillars are: (i) intention, (ii) invention, and(iii) adaptation. Intention emphasizes advancements in the human-to-computer and computer-to-machine-learning interfaces. Invention emphasizes the creation or refinement of algorithms or core hardware and software building blocks through machine learning (ML). Adaptation emphasizes advances in the use of ML-based constructs to autonomously evolve software.
The paper describes a new algorithm to generate minimal, stable, and symbolic corrections to an input that will cause a neural network with ReLU neurons to change its output. We argue that such a correction is a useful way to provide feedback to a user when the neural network produces an output that is different from a desired output. Our algorithm generates such a correction by solving a series of linear constraint satisfaction problems. The technique is evaluated on a neural network that has been trained to predict whether an applicant will pay a mortgage.
In this paper, we present ReaS, a technique that combines numerical optimization with SAT solving to synthesize unknowns in a program that involves discrete and floating point computation. ReaS makes the program end-to-end differentiable by smoothing any Boolean expression that introduces discontinuity such as conditionals and relaxing the Boolean unknowns so that numerical optimization can be performed. On top of this, ReaS uses a SAT solver to help the numerical search overcome local solutions by incrementally fixing values to the Boolean expressions. We evaluated the approach on 5 case studies involving hybrid systems and show that ReaS can synthesize programs that could not be solved by previous SMT approaches.
Syntax-Guided Synthesis (SyGuS) is the computational problem of finding an implementation f that meets both a semantic constraint given by a logical formula phi in a background theory T, and a syntactic constraint given by a grammar G, which specifies the allowed set of candidate implementations. Such a synthesis problem can be formally defined in SyGuS-IF, a language that is built on top of SMT-LIB. The Syntax-Guided Synthesis Competition (SyGuS-Comp) is an effort to facilitate, bring together and accelerate research and development of efficient solvers for SyGuS by providing a platform for evaluating different synthesis techniques on a comprehensive set of benchmarks. In this year's competition six new solvers competed on over 1500 benchmarks. This paper presents and analyses the results of SyGuS-Comp'17.
Nov 10 2017 cs.AI
Program synthesis is a class of regression problems where one seeks a solution, in the form of a source-code program, mapping the inputs to their corresponding outputs exactly. Due to its precise and combinatorial nature, program synthesis is commonly formulated as a constraint satisfaction problem, where input-output examples are encoded as constraints and solved with a constraint solver. A key challenge of this formulation is scalability: while constraint solvers work well with a few well-chosen examples, a large set of examples can incur significant overhead in both time and memory. We describe a method to discover a subset of examples that is both small and representative: the subset is constructed iteratively, using a neural network to predict the probability of unchosen examples conditioned on the chosen examples in the subset, and greedily adding the least probable example. We empirically evaluate the representativeness of the subsets constructed by our method, and demonstrate such subsets can significantly improve synthesis time and stability.
Oct 31 2017 cs.PL
Delimited continuations are the mother of all monads! So goes the slogan inspired by Filinski's 1994 paper, which showed that delimited continuations can implement any monadic effect, letting the programmer use an effect as easily as if it was built into the language. It's a shame that not many languages have delimited continuations. Luckily, exceptions and state are also the mother of all monads! In this Pearl, we show how to implement delimited continuations in terms of exceptions and state, a construction we call thermometer continuations. While traditional implementations of delimited continuations require some way of "capturing" an intermediate state of the computation, the insight of thermometer continuations is to reach this intermediate state by replaying the entire computation from the start, guiding it using a "replay stack" it so that the same thing happens until the captured point. Along the way, we explain delimited continuations and monadic reflection, show how the Filinski construction lets thermometer continuations express any monadic effect, share an elegant special-case for nondeterminism, and discuss why our construction is not prevented by theoretical results that exceptions and state cannot macro-express continuations.
Aug 01 2017 cs.AI
We introduce a model that learns to convert simple hand drawings into graphics programs written in a subset of \LaTeX. The model combines techniques from deep learning and program synthesis. We learn a convolutional neural network that proposes plausible drawing primitives that explain an image. These drawing primitives are like a trace of the set of primitive commands issued by a graphics program. We learn a model that uses program synthesis techniques to recover a graphics program from that trace. These programs have constructs like variable bindings, iterative loops, or simple kinds of conditionals. With a graphics program in hand, we can correct errors made by the deep network, measure similarity between drawings by use of similar high-level geometric structures, and extrapolate drawings. Taken together these results are a step towards agents that induce useful, human-readable programs from perceptual input.
Jul 18 2017 cs.PL
May 23 2017 cs.DC
Maintaining leadership in HPC requires the ability to support simulations at large scales and fidelity. In this study, we detail one of the most significant productivity challenges in achieving this goal, namely the increasing proclivity to bugs, especially in the face of growing hardware and software heterogeneity and sheer system scale. We identify key areas where timely new research must be proactively begun to address these challenges, and create new correctness tools that must ideally play a significant role even while ramping up toward exacale. We close with the proposal for a two-day workshop in which the problems identified in this report can be more broadly discussed, and specific plans to launch these new research thrusts identified.
We consider the problem of diagnosis where a set of simple observations are used to infer a potentially complex hidden hypothesis. Finding the optimal subset of observations is intractable in general, thus we focus on the problem of active diagnosis, where the agent selects the next most-informative observation based on the results of previous observations. We show that under the assumption of uniform observation entropy, one can build an implication model which directly predicts the outcome of the potential next observation conditioned on the results of past observations, and selects the observation with the maximum entropy. This approach enjoys reduced computation complexity by bypassing the complicated hypothesis space, and can be trained on observation data alone, learning how to query without knowledge of the hidden hypothesis.
Syntax-Guided Synthesis (SyGuS) is the computational problem of finding an implementation f that meets both a semantic constraint given by a logical formula $\varphi$ in a background theory T, and a syntactic constraint given by a grammar G, which specifies the allowed set of candidate implementations. Such a synthesis problem can be formally defined in SyGuS-IF, a language that is built on top of SMT-LIB. The Syntax-Guided Synthesis Competition (SyGuS-Comp) is an effort to facilitate, bring together and accelerate research and development of efficient solvers for SyGuS by providing a platform for evaluating different synthesis techniques on a comprehensive set of benchmarks. In this year's competition we added a new track devoted to programming by examples. This track consisted of two categories, one using the theory of bit-vectors and one using the theory of strings. This paper presents and analyses the results of SyGuS-Comp'16.
Jul 13 2016 cs.PL
We present Lifty, a language that uses type-driven program repair to enforce information flow policies. In Lifty, the programmer specifies a policy by annotating the source of sensitive data with a refinement type, and the system automatically inserts access checks necessary to enforce this policy across the code. This is a significant improvement over current practice, where programmers manually implement access checks, and any missing check can cause an information leak. To support this programming model, we have developed (1) an encoding of information flow security in terms of decidable refinement types that enables fully automatic verification and (2) a program repair algorithm that localizes unsafe accesses to sensitive data and replaces them with provably secure alternatives. We formalize the encoding and prove its noninterference guarantee. Our experience using Lifty to implement a conference management system shows that it decreases policy burden and is able to efficiently synthesize all necessary access checks, including those required to prevent a set of reported real-world information leaks.
We present a novel technique for automatic program correction in MOOCs, capable of fixing both syntactic and semantic errors without manual, problem specific correction strategies. Given an incorrect student program, it generates candidate programs from a distribution of likely corrections, and checks each candidate for correctness against a test suite. The key observation is that in MOOCs many programs share similar code fragments, and the seq2seq neural network model, used in the natural-language processing task of machine translation, can be modified and trained to recover these fragments. Experiment shows our scheme can correct 29% of all incorrect submissions and out-performs state of the art approach which requires manual, problem specific correction strategies.
Feb 24 2016 cs.PL
This paper addresses the problem of creating simplifiers for logic formulas based on conditional term rewriting. In particular, the paper focuses on a program synthesis application where formula simplifications have been shown to have a significant impact. We show that by combining machine learning techniques with constraint-based synthesis, it is possible to synthesize a formula simplifier fully automatically from a corpus of representative problems, making it possible to create formula simplifiers tailored to specific problem domains. We demonstrate the benefits of our approach for synthesis benchmarks from the SyGuS competition and automated grading.
Syntax-Guided Synthesis (SyGuS) is the computational problem of finding an implementation f that meets both a semantic constraint given by a logical formula $\varphi$ in a background theory T, and a syntactic constraint given by a grammar G, which specifies the allowed set of candidate implementations. Such a synthesis problem can be formally defined in SyGuS-IF, a language that is built on top of SMT-LIB. The Syntax-Guided Synthesis Competition (SyGuS-comp) is an effort to facilitate, bring together and accelerate research and development of efficient solvers for SyGuS by providing a platform for evaluating different synthesis techniques on a comprehensive set of benchmarks. In this year's competition we added two specialized tracks: a track for conditional linear arithmetic, where the grammar need not be specified and is implicitly assumed to be that of the LIA logic of SMT-LIB, and a track for invariant synthesis problems, with special constructs conforming to the structure of an invariant synthesis problem. This paper presents and analyzes the results of SyGuS-comp'15.
Oct 29 2015 cs.PL
We present a method for synthesizing recursive functions that provably satisfy a given specification in the form of a polymorphic refinement type. We observe that such specifications are particularly suitable for program synthesis for two reasons. First, they offer a unique combination of expressive power and decidability, which enables automatic verification---and hence synthesis---of nontrivial programs. Second, a type-based specification for a program can often be effectively decomposed into independent specifications for its components, causing the synthesizer to consider fewer component combinations and leading to a combinatorial reduction in the size of the search space. At the core of our synthesis procedure is a new algorithm for refinement type checking, which supports specification decomposition. We have evaluated our prototype implementation on a large set of synthesis problems and found that it exceeds the state of the art in terms of both scalability and usability. The tool was able to synthesize more complex programs than those reported in prior work (several sorting algorithms and operations on balanced search trees), as well as most of the benchmarks tackled by existing synthesizers, often starting from a more concise and intuitive user input.
Jul 21 2015 cs.PL
Recent work has proposed a promising approach to improving scalability of program synthesis by allowing the user to supply a syntactic template that constrains the space of potential programs. Unfortunately, creating templates often requires nontrivial effort from the user, which impedes the usability of the synthesizer. We present a solution to this problem in the context of recursive transformations on algebraic data-types. Our approach relies on polymorphic synthesis constructs: a small but powerful extension to the language of syntactic templates, which makes it possible to define a program space in a concise and highly reusable manner, while at the same time retains the scalability benefits of conventional templates. This approach enables end-users to reuse predefined templates from a library for a wide variety of problems with little effort. The paper also describes a novel optimization that further improves the performance and scalability of the system. We evaluated the approach on a set of benchmarks that most notably includes desugaring functions for lambda calculus, which force the synthesizer to discover Church encodings for pairs and boolean operations.
Jul 15 2015 cs.PL
Sketch-based synthesis, epitomized by the SKETCH tool, lets developers synthesize software starting from a partial program, also called a sketch or template. This paper presents JSKETCH, a tool that brings sketch-based synthesis to Java. JSKETCH's input is a partial Java program that may include holes, which are unknown constants, expression generators, which range over sets of expressions, and class generators, which are partial classes. JSKETCH then translates the synthesis problem into a SKETCH problem; this translation is complex because SKETCH is not object-oriented. Finally, JSKETCH synthesizes an executable Java program by interpreting the output of SKETCH.
Jul 14 2015 cs.PL
We present an approach for dynamic information flow control across the application and database. Our approach reduces the amount of policy code required, yields formal guarantees across the application and database, works with existing relational database implementations, and scales for realistic applications. In this paper, we present a programming model that factors out information flow policies from application code and database queries, a dynamic semantics for the underlying \lambda^JDB core language, and proofs of termination-insensitive non-interference and policy compliance for the semantics. We implement these ideas in Jacqueline, a Python web framework, and demonstrate feasibility through three application case studies: a course manager, a health record system, and a conference management system used to run an academic workshop. We show that in comparison to traditional applications with hand-coded policy checks, Jacqueline applications have 1) a smaller trusted computing base, 2) fewer lines of policy code, and 2) reasonable, often negligible, additional overheads.
Software synthesis is rapidly developing into an important research area with vast potential for practical application. The SYNT Workshop on Synthesis aims to bringing together researchers interested in synthesis to present both ongoing and mature work on all aspects of automated synthesis and its applications. The second iteration of SYNT took place in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and was co-located with the 25th International Conference on Computer Aided Verification. The workshop included eleven presentations covering the full scope of the emerging synthesis community, as well as a discussion lead by Swen Jacobs on the organization of two new synthesis competitions focusing on reactive synthesis and syntax-guided functional synthesis respectively.
Jun 26 2013 cs.LO
We prove several decidability and undecidability results for the satisfiability and validity problems for languages that can express solutions to word equations with length constraints. The atomic formulas over this language are equality over string terms (word equations), linear inequality over the length function (length constraints), and membership in regular sets. These questions are important in logic, program analysis, and formal verification. Variants of these questions have been studied for many decades by mathematicians. More recently, practical satisfiability procedures (aka SMT solvers) for these formulas have become increasingly important in the context of security analysis for string-manipulating programs such as web applications. We prove three main theorems. First, we give a new proof of undecidability for the validity problem for the set of sentences written as a forall-exists quantifier alternation applied to positive word equations. A corollary of this undecidability result is that this set is undecidable even with sentences with at most two occurrences of a string variable. Second, we consider Boolean combinations of quantifier-free formulas constructed out of word equations and length constraints. We show that if word equations can be converted to a solved form, a form relevant in practice, then the satisfiability problem for Boolean combinations of word equations and length constraints is decidable. Third, we show that the satisfiability problem for quantifier-free formulas over word equations in regular solved form, length constraints, and the membership predicate over regular expressions is also decidable.
This paper presents a new approach to select events of interest to a user in a social media setting where events are generated by the activities of the user's friends through their mobile devices. We argue that given the unique requirements of the social media setting, the problem is best viewed as an inductive learning problem, where the goal is to first generalize from the users' expressed "likes" and "dislikes" of specific events, then to produce a program that can be manipulated by the system and distributed to the collection devices to collect only data of interest. The key contribution of this paper is a new algorithm that combines existing machine learning techniques with new program synthesis technology to learn users' preferences. We show that when compared with the more standard approaches, our new algorithm provides up to order-of-magnitude reductions in model training time, and significantly higher prediction accuracies for our target application. The approach also improves on standard machine learning techniques in that it produces clear programs that can be manipulated to optimize data collection and filtering.
Developing high-performance applications that interact with databases is a difficult task, as developers need to understand both the details of the language in which their applications are written in, and also the intricacies of the relational model. One popular solution to this problem is the use of object-relational mapping (ORM) libraries that provide transparent access to the database using the same language that the application is written in. Unfortunately, using such frameworks can easily lead to applications with poor performance because developers often end up implementing relational operations in application code, and doing so usually does not take advantage of the optimized implementations of relational operations, efficient query plans, or push down of predicates that database systems provide. In this paper we present QBS, an algorithm that automatically identifies fragments of application logic that can be pushed into SQL queries. The QBS algorithm works by automatically synthesizing invariants and postconditions for the original code fragment. The postconditions and invariants are expressed using a theory of ordered relations that allows us to reason precisely about the contents and order of the records produced even by complex code fragments that compute joins and aggregates. The theory is close in expressiveness to SQL, so the synthesized postconditions can be readily translated to SQL queries. Using 40 code fragments extracted from over 120k lines of open-source code written using the Java Hibernate ORM, we demonstrate that our approach can convert a variety of imperative constructs into relational specifications.
We present a new method for automatically providing feedback for introductory programming problems. In order to use this method, we need a reference implementation of the assignment, and an error model consisting of potential corrections to errors that students might make. Using this information, the system automatically derives minimal corrections to student's incorrect solutions, providing them with a quantifiable measure of exactly how incorrect a given solution was, as well as feedback about what they did wrong. We introduce a simple language for describing error models in terms of correction rules, and formally define a rule-directed translation strategy that reduces the problem of finding minimal corrections in an incorrect program to the problem of synthesizing a correct program from a sketch. We have evaluated our system on thousands of real student attempts obtained from 6.00 and 6.00x. Our results show that relatively simple error models can correct on average 65% of all incorrect submissions.