Sindu Tipirneni, Ming Zhu, Chandan Reddy


There has been a recent surge of interest in automating software engineering tasks using deep learning. This work addresses the problem of code generation where the goal is to generate target code given source code in a different language or a natural language description. Most of the state-of-the-art deep learning models for code generation use training strategies that are primarily designed for natural language. However, understanding and generating code requires a more rigorous comprehension of the code syntax and semantics. With this motivation, we develop an encoder-decoder Transformer model where both the encoder and decoder are trained to recognize the syntax and data flow in the source and target codes, respectively. We not only make the encoder structure-aware by leveraging the source code's syntax tree and data flow graph, but we also ensure that our decoder preserves the syntax and data flow of the target code by introducing two auxiliary tasks: AST (Abstract Syntax Tree) paths prediction and data flow prediction. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work to introduce a structure-aware Transformer decoder to enhance the quality of generated code by modeling target syntax and data flow. The proposed StructCoder model achieves state-of-the-art performance on code translation and text-to-code generation tasks in the CodeXGLUE benchmark.


Ming Zhu

Chandan Reddy

Sindu Tipirneni

Publication Details

Date of publication:
June 10, 2022
Cornell University
Publication note:

Sindhu Tipirneni, Ming Zhu, Chandan K. Reddy: StructCoder: Structure-Aware Transformer for Code Generation. CoRR abs/2206.05239 (2022)