Poster
Write, Execute, Assess: Program Synthesis with a REPL
Kevin Ellis · Maxwell Nye · Yewen Pu · Felix Sosa · Josh Tenenbaum · Armando Solar-Lezama

Thu Dec 12th 05:00 -- 07:00 PM @ East Exhibition Hall B + C #170

We present a neural program synthesis approach integrating components which write, execute, and assess code to navigate the search space of possible programs. We equip the search process with an interpreter or a read-eval-print-loop (REPL), which immediately executes partially written programs, exposing their semantics. The REPL addresses a basic challenge of program synthesis: tiny changes in syntax can lead to huge changes in semantics. We train a pair of models, a policy that proposes the new piece of code to write, and a value function that assesses the prospects of the code written so-far. At test time we can combine these models with a Sequential Monte Carlo algorithm. We apply our approach to two domains: synthesizing text editing programs and inferring 2D and 3D graphics programs.

Author Information

Kevin Ellis (MIT)
Maxwell Nye (MIT)
Yewen Pu (MIT)
Felix Sosa (Harvard and Center for Brains, Minds, and Machines)

I'm a **computational cognitive scientist** under Tomer Ullman and Sam Gershman. I'm a first-year PhD in Cognitive Science at **Harvard's Dept of Psychology** and **MIT's Center for Brains, Minds, and Machines**. I try to understand how children learn and how we can build machines that learn like children.

Josh Tenenbaum (MIT)

Josh Tenenbaum is an Associate Professor of Computational Cognitive Science at MIT in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). He received his PhD from MIT in 1999, and was an Assistant Professor at Stanford University from 1999 to 2002. He studies learning and inference in humans and machines, with the twin goals of understanding human intelligence in computational terms and bringing computers closer to human capacities. He focuses on problems of inductive generalization from limited data -- learning concepts and word meanings, inferring causal relations or goals -- and learning abstract knowledge that supports these inductive leaps in the form of probabilistic generative models or 'intuitive theories'. He has also developed several novel machine learning methods inspired by human learning and perception, most notably Isomap, an approach to unsupervised learning of nonlinear manifolds in high-dimensional data. He has been Associate Editor for the journal Cognitive Science, has been active on program committees for the CogSci and NIPS conferences, and has co-organized a number of workshops, tutorials and summer schools in human and machine learning. Several of his papers have received outstanding paper awards or best student paper awards at the IEEE Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), NIPS, and Cognitive Science conferences. He is the recipient of the New Investigator Award from the Society for Mathematical Psychology (2005), the Early Investigator Award from the Society of Experimental Psychologists (2007), and the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology (in the area of cognition and human learning) from the American Psychological Association (2008).

Armando Solar-Lezama (MIT)

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