Retrieval-augmented language models (RaLM) have demonstrated the potential to solve knowledge-intensive natural language processing (NLP) tasks by combining a non-parametric knowledge base with a parametric language model. Instead of fine-tuning a fully parametric model, RaLM excels at its low-cost adaptation to the latest data and better source attribution mechanisms. Among various RaLM approaches, iterative RaLM delivers a better generation quality due to a more frequent interaction between the retriever and the language model. Despite the benefits, iterative RaLM usually encounters high overheads due to the frequent retrieval step. To this end, we propose RaLMSpec, a speculation-inspired framework that provides generic speed-up over iterative RaLM while preserving the same model outputs through speculative retrieval and batched verification. By further incorporating prefetching, optimal speculation stride scheduler, and asynchronous verification, RaLMSpec can automatically exploit the acceleration potential to the fullest. For naive iterative RaLM serving, extensive evaluations over three language models on four downstream QA datasets demonstrate that RaLMSpec can achieve a speed-up ratio of 1.75-2.39x, 1.04-1.39x, and 1.31-1.77x when the retriever is an exact dense retriever, approximate dense retriever, and sparse retriever respectively compared with the baseline. For KNN-LM serving, RaLMSpec can achieve a speed-up ratio up to 7.59x and 2.45x when the retriever is an exact dense retriever and approximate dense retriever, respectively, compared with the baseline.
Data collection for forestry, timber, and agriculture currently relies on manual techniques which are labor-intensive and time-consuming. We seek to demonstrate that robotics offers improvements over these techniques and accelerate agricultural research, beginning with semantic segmentation and diameter estimation of trees in forests and orchards. We present TreeScope v1.0, the first robotics dataset for precision agriculture and forestry addressing the counting and mapping of trees in forestry and orchards. TreeScope provides LiDAR data from agricultural environments collected with robotics platforms, such as UAV and mobile robot platforms carried by vehicles and human operators. In the first release of this dataset, we provide ground-truth data with over 1,800 manually annotated semantic labels for tree stems and field-measured tree diameters. We share benchmark scripts for these tasks that researchers may use to evaluate the accuracy of their algorithms. Finally, we run our open-source diameter estimation and off-the-shelf semantic segmentation algorithms and share our baseline results.
* Submitted to 2024 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and
Automation (ICRA 2024) for review