GraPPa: Grammar-Augmented Pre-Training for Table Semantic Parsing

Published in The International Conference on Learning Representations. (ICLR), 2021


  title={GraPPa: Grammar-Augmented Pre-Training for Table Semantic Parsing},
  author={Yu, Tao and Wu, Chien-Sheng and Lin, Xi Victoria and Wang, Bailin and Tan, Yi Chern and Yang, Xinyi and Radev, Dragomir and Socher, Richard and Xiong, Caiming},
  journal={arXiv preprint arXiv:2009.13845},


We present GraPPa, an effective pre-training approach for table semantic parsing that learns a compositional inductive bias in the joint representations of textual and tabular data. We construct synthetic question-SQL pairs over high-quality tables via a synchronous context-free grammar (SCFG). We pre-train our model on the synthetic data to inject important structural properties commonly found in semantic parsing into the pre-training language model. To maintain the model’s ability to represent real-world data, we also include masked language modeling (MLM) on several existing table-related datasets to regularize our pre-training process. Our proposed pre-training strategy is much data-efficient. When incorporated with strong base semantic parsers, GraPPa achieves new state-of-the-art results on four popular fully supervised and weakly supervised table semantic parsing tasks.