Improving text-to-SQL evaluation methodology

Catherine Finegan-Dollak, Jonathan K. Kummerfeld, Li Zhang, Karthik Ramanathan, Sesh Sadasivam, Rui Zhang, Dragomir Radev

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

To be informative, an evaluation must measure how well systems generalize to realistic unseen data. We identify limitations of and propose improvements to current evaluations of text-to-SQL systems. First, we compare human-generated and automatically generated questions, characterizing properties of queries necessary for real-world applications. To facilitate evaluation on multiple datasets, we release standardized and improved versions of seven existing datasets and one new text-to-SQL dataset. Second, we show that the current division of data into training and test sets measures robustness to variations in the way questions are asked, but only partially tests how well systems generalize to new queries; therefore, we propose a complementary dataset split for evaluation of future work. Finally, we demonstrate how the common practice of anonymiz-ing variables during evaluation removes an important challenge of the task. Our observations highlight key difficulties, and our methodology enables effective measurement of future development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationACL 2018 - 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Proceedings of the Conference (Long Papers)
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Pages351-360
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781948087322
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018
Event56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2018 - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: Jul 15 2018Jul 20 2018

Publication series

NameACL 2018 - 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Proceedings of the Conference (Long Papers)
Volume1

Conference

Conference56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2018
CountryAustralia
CityMelbourne
Period7/15/187/20/18

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics

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