Neuron-level LLM Patching for Code Generation

8 Dec 2023  ·  Jian Gu, Aldeida Aleti, Chunyang Chen, Hongyu Zhang ·

Large Language Models (LLMs) have found widespread adoption in software engineering, particularly in code generation tasks. However, updating these models with new knowledge can be prohibitively expensive, yet it is essential for maximizing their utility. In this paper, we propose a novel and effective model editing approach, \textsc{MENT}, to patch LLMs in coding tasks. \textsc{MENT} is effective, efficient, and reliable. It can correct a neural model by patching 1 or 2 neurons. As the pioneer work on neuron-level model editing of generative models, we formalize the editing process and introduce the involved concepts. Besides, we also introduce new measures to evaluate its generalization ability, and build a benchmark for further study. Our approach is evaluated on three coding tasks, including API-seq recommendation, line-level code generation, and pseudocode-to-code transaction. The experimental results show that the proposed approach outperforms the state of the arts by a significant margin in both effectiveness and efficiency measures. In addition, we demonstrate the usages of \textsc{MENT} for LLM reasoning in software engineering. By editing LLM knowledge, the directly or indirectly dependent behaviors of API invocation in the chain-of-thought will change accordingly. It explained the significance of repairing LLMs.

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