Re-examining the Role of Schema Linking in Text-to-SQL

Wenqiang Lei, Weixin Wang, Zhixin Ma, Tian Gan, Wei Lu, Min-Yen Kan, Tat-Seng Chua

Semantics: Sentence-level Semantics, Textual Inference and Other areas Long Paper

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Abstract: In existing sophisticated text-to-SQL models, schema linking is often considered as a simple, minor component, belying its importance. By providing a schema linking corpus based on the Spider text-to-SQL dataset, we systematically study the role of schema linking. We also build a simple BERT-based baseline, called Schema-Linking SQL (SLSQL) to perform a data-driven study. We find when schema linking is done well, SLSQL demonstrates good performance on Spider despite its structural simplicity. Many remaining errors are attributable to corpus noise. This suggests schema linking is the crux for the current text-to-SQL task. Our analytic studies provide insights on the characteristics of schema linking for future developments of text-to-SQL tasks.
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