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Pyramid Attention For Source Code Summarization
Lei Chai · Ming LI

Tue Nov 29 02:00 PM -- 04:00 PM (PST) @ Hall J #212

This paper presents a multi-granularity method for source code summarization, which generates a concise functional description for the given code snippet. We notice that skilled programmers write and read source codes hierarchically and pay close attention to conceptual entities like statements, tokens, sub-tokens, and the mapping relations between them. The entities have specific emphasis according to their granularities, e.g., statements in coarse-granularity reveal the global logical semantics of code, and the sub-tokens in fine-granularity are more related to the textual semantics. Driven by this observation, we demonstrate that a multi-granularity formulation incorporating these conceptual entities benefit the code summarization task. Concretely, the source code is transformed into a pyramidal representation, and then a pyramid attention mechanism is applied for efficient feature aggregation among different hierarchies in it. We instantiate our multi-granularity method using the proposed pyramid attention and name it PA-former (Pyramid Attention transformer). We evaluated it on two source code summarization benchmarks where it surpasses the prior works and achieves new state-of-the-art results. Our code and data are available at https://github.com/leichainju/pa-former.

Author Information

Lei Chai (Nanjing University)
Ming LI (Nanjing University)

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