Uncertainty decomposition refers to the task of decomposing the total uncertainty of a model into data (aleatoric) uncertainty, resulting from the inherent complexity or ambiguity of the data, and model (epistemic) uncertainty, resulting from the lack of knowledge in the model. Performing uncertainty decomposition for large language models (LLMs) is an important step toward improving the reliability, trustworthiness, and interpretability of LLMs, but this research task is very challenging and remains unresolved. The existing canonical method, Bayesian Neural Network (BNN), cannot be applied to LLMs, because BNN requires training and ensembling multiple variants of models, which is infeasible or prohibitively expensive for LLMs. In this paper, we introduce an uncertainty decomposition framework for LLMs, called input clarifications ensemble, which bypasses the need to train new models. Rather than ensembling models with different parameters, our approach generates a set of clarifications for the input, feeds them into the fixed LLMs, and ensembles the corresponding predictions. We show that our framework shares a symmetric decomposition structure with BNN. Empirical evaluations demonstrate that the proposed framework provides accurate and reliable uncertainty quantification on various tasks. Code will be made publicly available at https://github.com/UCSB-NLP-Chang/llm_uncertainty .
Although large language models (LLMs) have achieved great success in vast real-world applications, their vulnerabilities towards noisy inputs have significantly limited their uses, especially in high-stake environments. In these contexts, it is crucial to ensure that every prediction made by large language models is stable, i.e., LLM predictions should be consistent given minor differences in the input. This largely falls into the study of certified robust LLMs, i.e., all predictions of LLM are certified to be correct in a local region around the input. Randomized smoothing has demonstrated great potential in certifying the robustness and prediction stability of LLMs. However, randomized smoothing requires adding noise to the input before model prediction, and its certification performance depends largely on the model's performance on corrupted data. As a result, its direct application to LLMs remains challenging and often results in a small certification radius. To address this issue, we take advantage of the multitasking nature of LLMs and propose to denoise the corrupted inputs with LLMs in a self-denoising manner. Different from previous works like denoised smoothing, which requires training a separate model to robustify LLM, our method enjoys far better efficiency and flexibility. Our experiment results show that our method outperforms the existing certification methods under both certified robustness and empirical robustness. The codes are available at https://github.com/UCSB-NLP-Chang/SelfDenoise.
Scene text editing is a challenging task that involves modifying or inserting specified texts in an image while maintaining its natural and realistic appearance. Most previous approaches to this task rely on style-transfer models that crop out text regions and feed them into image transfer models, such as GANs. However, these methods are limited in their ability to change text style and are unable to insert texts into images. Recent advances in diffusion models have shown promise in overcoming these limitations with text-conditional image editing. However, our empirical analysis reveals that state-of-the-art diffusion models struggle with rendering correct text and controlling text style. To address these problems, we propose DIFFSTE to improve pre-trained diffusion models with a dual encoder design, which includes a character encoder for better text legibility and an instruction encoder for better style control. An instruction tuning framework is introduced to train our model to learn the mapping from the text instruction to the corresponding image with either the specified style or the style of the surrounding texts in the background. Such a training method further brings our method the zero-shot generalization ability to the following three scenarios: generating text with unseen font variation, e.g., italic and bold, mixing different fonts to construct a new font, and using more relaxed forms of natural language as the instructions to guide the generation task. We evaluate our approach on five datasets and demonstrate its superior performance in terms of text correctness, image naturalness, and style controllability. Our code is publicly available. https://github.com/UCSB-NLP-Chang/DiffSTE
We describe PromptBoosting, a query-efficient procedure for building a text classifier from a neural language model (LM) without access to the LM's parameters, gradients, or hidden representations. This form of "black-box" classifier training has become increasingly important as the cost of training and inference in large-scale LMs grows. But existing black-box LM classifier learning approaches are themselves computationally inefficient, typically specializing LMs to the target task by searching in a large space of (discrete or continuous) prompts using zeroth-order optimization methods. Instead of directly optimizing in prompt space, PromptBoosting obtains a small pool of prompts via a gradient-free approach and then constructs a large pool of weak learners by pairing these prompts with different elements of the LM's output distribution. These weak learners are then ensembled using the AdaBoost algorithm. The entire learning process requires only a small number of forward passes and no backward pass. Experiments show that PromptBoosting achieves state-of-the-art performance in multiple black-box few-shot classification tasks, and matches or outperforms full fine-tuning in both few-shot and standard learning paradigms, while training 10x faster than existing black-box methods.
Robustness evaluation against adversarial examples has become increasingly important to unveil the trustworthiness of the prevailing deep models in natural language processing (NLP). However, in contrast to the computer vision domain where the first-order projected gradient descent (PGD) is used as the benchmark approach to generate adversarial examples for robustness evaluation, there lacks a principled first-order gradient-based robustness evaluation framework in NLP. The emerging optimization challenges lie in 1) the discrete nature of textual inputs together with the strong coupling between the perturbation location and the actual content, and 2) the additional constraint that the perturbed text should be fluent and achieve a low perplexity under a language model. These challenges make the development of PGD-like NLP attacks difficult. To bridge the gap, we propose TextGrad, a new attack generator using gradient-driven optimization, supporting high-accuracy and high-quality assessment of adversarial robustness in NLP. Specifically, we address the aforementioned challenges in a unified optimization framework. And we develop an effective convex relaxation method to co-optimize the continuously-relaxed site selection and perturbation variables and leverage an effective sampling method to establish an accurate mapping from the continuous optimization variables to the discrete textual perturbations. Moreover, as a first-order attack generation method, TextGrad can be baked into adversarial training to further improve the robustness of NLP models. Extensive experiments are provided to demonstrate the effectiveness of TextGrad not only in attack generation for robustness evaluation but also in adversarial defense.
Adversarial attacking aims to fool deep neural networks with adversarial examples. In the field of natural language processing, various textual adversarial attack models have been proposed, varying in the accessibility to the victim model. Among them, the attack models that only require the output of the victim model are more fit for real-world situations of adversarial attacking. However, to achieve high attack performance, these models usually need to query the victim model too many times, which is neither efficient nor viable in practice. To tackle this problem, we propose a reinforcement learning based attack model, which can learn from attack history and launch attacks more efficiently. In experiments, we evaluate our model by attacking several state-of-the-art models on the benchmark datasets of multiple tasks including sentiment analysis, text classification and natural language inference. Experimental results demonstrate that our model consistently achieves both better attack performance and higher efficiency than recently proposed baseline methods. We also find our attack model can bring more robustness improvement to the victim model by adversarial training. All the code and data of this paper will be made public.
Textual adversarial attacking has received wide and increasing attention in recent years. Various attack models have been proposed, which are enormously distinct and implemented with different programming frameworks and settings. These facts hinder quick utilization and apt comparison of attack models. In this paper, we present an open-source textual adversarial attack toolkit named OpenAttack. It currently builds in 12 typical attack models that cover all the attack types. Its highly inclusive modular design not only supports quick utilization of existing attack models, but also enables great flexibility and extensibility. OpenAttack has broad uses including comparing and evaluating attack models, measuring robustness of a victim model, assisting in developing new attack models, and adversarial training. Source code, built-in models and documentation can be obtained at https://github.com/thunlp/OpenAttack.