Table-based reasoning with large language models (LLMs) is a promising direction to tackle many table understanding tasks, such as table-based question answering and fact verification. Compared with generic reasoning, table-based reasoning requires the extraction of underlying semantics from both free-form questions and semi-structured tabular data. Chain-of-Thought and its similar approaches incorporate the reasoning chain in the form of textual context, but it is still an open question how to effectively leverage tabular data in the reasoning chain. We propose the Chain-of-Table framework, where tabular data is explicitly used in the reasoning chain as a proxy for intermediate thoughts. Specifically, we guide LLMs using in-context learning to iteratively generate operations and update the table to represent a tabular reasoning chain. LLMs can therefore dynamically plan the next operation based on the results of the previous ones. This continuous evolution of the table forms a chain, showing the reasoning process for a given tabular problem. The chain carries structured information of the intermediate results, enabling more accurate and reliable predictions. Chain-of-Table achieves new state-of-the-art performance on WikiTQ, FeTaQA, and TabFact benchmarks across multiple LLM choices.
Today, large language models (LLMs) are taught to use new tools by providing a few demonstrations of the tool's usage. Unfortunately, demonstrations are hard to acquire, and can result in undesirable biased usage if the wrong demonstration is chosen. Even in the rare scenario that demonstrations are readily available, there is no principled selection protocol to determine how many and which ones to provide. As tasks grow more complex, the selection search grows combinatorially and invariably becomes intractable. Our work provides an alternative to demonstrations: tool documentation. We advocate the use of tool documentation, descriptions for the individual tool usage, over demonstrations. We substantiate our claim through three main empirical findings on 6 tasks across both vision and language modalities. First, on existing benchmarks, zero-shot prompts with only tool documentation are sufficient for eliciting proper tool usage, achieving performance on par with few-shot prompts. Second, on a newly collected realistic tool-use dataset with hundreds of available tool APIs, we show that tool documentation is significantly more valuable than demonstrations, with zero-shot documentation significantly outperforming few-shot without documentation. Third, we highlight the benefits of tool documentations by tackling image generation and video tracking using just-released unseen state-of-the-art models as tools. Finally, we highlight the possibility of using tool documentation to automatically enable new applications: by using nothing more than the documentation of GroundingDino, Stable Diffusion, XMem, and SAM, LLMs can re-invent the functionalities of the just-released Grounded-SAM and Track Anything models.
The recent advent of self-supervised pre-training techniques has led to a surge in the use of multimodal learning in form document understanding. However, existing approaches that extend the mask language modeling to other modalities require careful multi-task tuning, complex reconstruction target designs, or additional pre-training data. In FormNetV2, we introduce a centralized multimodal graph contrastive learning strategy to unify self-supervised pre-training for all modalities in one loss. The graph contrastive objective maximizes the agreement of multimodal representations, providing a natural interplay for all modalities without special customization. In addition, we extract image features within the bounding box that joins a pair of tokens connected by a graph edge, capturing more targeted visual cues without loading a sophisticated and separately pre-trained image embedder. FormNetV2 establishes new state-of-the-art performance on FUNSD, CORD, SROIE and Payment benchmarks with a more compact model size.
Deploying large language models (LLMs) is challenging because they are memory inefficient and compute-intensive for practical applications. In reaction, researchers train smaller task-specific models by either finetuning with human labels or distilling using LLM-generated labels. However, finetuning and distillation require large amounts of training data to achieve comparable performance to LLMs. We introduce Distilling step-by-step, a new mechanism that (a) trains smaller models that outperform LLMs, and (b) achieves so by leveraging less training data needed by finetuning or distillation. Our method extracts LLM rationales as additional supervision for small models within a multi-task training framework. We present three findings across 4 NLP benchmarks: First, compared to both finetuning and distillation, our mechanism achieves better performance with much fewer labeled/unlabeled training examples. Second, compared to LLMs, we achieve better performance using substantially smaller model sizes. Third, we reduce both the model size and the amount of data required to outperform LLMs; our 770M T5 model outperforms the 540B PaLM model using only 80% of available data on a benchmark task.
In this paper, we tackle two challenges in multimodal learning for visual recognition: 1) when missing-modality occurs either during training or testing in real-world situations; and 2) when the computation resources are not available to finetune on heavy transformer models. To this end, we propose to utilize prompt learning and mitigate the above two challenges together. Specifically, our modality-missing-aware prompts can be plugged into multimodal transformers to handle general missing-modality cases, while only requiring less than 1% learnable parameters compared to training the entire model. We further explore the effect of different prompt configurations and analyze the robustness to missing modality. Extensive experiments are conducted to show the effectiveness of our prompt learning framework that improves the performance under various missing-modality cases, while alleviating the requirement of heavy model re-training. Code is available.
In Composed Image Retrieval (CIR), a user combines a query image with text to describe their intended target. Existing methods rely on supervised learning of CIR models using labeled triplets consisting of the query image, text specification, and the target image. Labeling such triplets is expensive and hinders broad applicability of CIR. In this work, we propose to study an important task, Zero-Shot Composed Image Retrieval (ZS-CIR), whose goal is to build a CIR model without requiring labeled triplets for training. To this end, we propose a novel method, called Pic2Word, that requires only weakly labeled image-caption pairs and unlabeled image datasets to train. Unlike existing supervised CIR models, our model trained on weakly labeled or unlabeled datasets shows strong generalization across diverse ZS-CIR tasks, e.g., attribute editing, object composition, and domain conversion. Our approach outperforms several supervised CIR methods on the common CIR benchmark, CIRR and Fashion-IQ. Code will be made publicly available at https://github.com/google-research/composed_image_retrieval.
Accurate estimation of output quantiles is crucial in many use cases, where it is desired to model the range of possibility. Modeling target distribution at arbitrary quantile levels and at arbitrary input attribute levels are important to offer a comprehensive picture of the data, and requires the quantile function to be expressive enough. The quantile function describing the target distribution using quantile levels is critical for quantile regression. Although various parametric forms for the distributions (that the quantile function specifies) can be adopted, an everlasting problem is selecting the most appropriate one that can properly approximate the data distributions. In this paper, we propose a non-parametric and data-driven approach, Neural Spline Search (NSS), to represent the observed data distribution without parametric assumptions. NSS is flexible and expressive for modeling data distributions by transforming the inputs with a series of monotonic spline regressions guided by symbolic operators. We demonstrate that NSS outperforms previous methods on synthetic, real-world regression and time-series forecasting tasks.
Understanding visually-rich business documents to extract structured data and automate business workflows has been receiving attention both in academia and industry. Although recent multi-modal language models have achieved impressive results, we find that existing benchmarks do not reflect the complexity of real documents seen in industry. In this work, we identify the desiderata for a more comprehensive benchmark and propose one we call Visually Rich Document Understanding (VRDU). VRDU contains two datasets that represent several challenges: rich schema including diverse data types as well as nested entities, complex templates including tables and multi-column layouts, and diversity of different layouts (templates) within a single document type. We design few-shot and conventional experiment settings along with a carefully designed matching algorithm to evaluate extraction results. We report the performance of strong baselines and three observations: (1) generalizing to new document templates is very challenging, (2) few-shot performance has a lot of headroom, and (3) models struggle with nested fields such as line-items in an invoice. We plan to open source the benchmark and the evaluation toolkit. We hope this helps the community make progress on these challenging tasks in extracting structured data from visually rich documents.
Zero-shot transfer learning for document understanding is a crucial yet under-investigated scenario to help reduce the high cost involved in annotating document entities. We present a novel query-based framework, QueryForm, that extracts entity values from form-like documents in a zero-shot fashion. QueryForm contains a dual prompting mechanism that composes both the document schema and a specific entity type into a query, which is used to prompt a Transformer model to perform a single entity extraction task. Furthermore, we propose to leverage large-scale query-entity pairs generated from form-like webpages with weak HTML annotations to pre-train QueryForm. By unifying pre-training and fine-tuning into the same query-based framework, QueryForm enables models to learn from structured documents containing various entities and layouts, leading to better generalization to target document types without the need for target-specific training data. QueryForm sets new state-of-the-art average F1 score on both the XFUND (+4.6%~10.1%) and the Payment (+3.2%~9.5%) zero-shot benchmark, with a smaller model size and no additional image input.