Despite the remarkable achievements of large language models (LLMs) in various tasks, there remains a linguistic bias that favors high-resource languages, such as English, often at the expense of low-resource and regional languages. To address this imbalance, we introduce SeaLLMs, an innovative series of language models that specifically focuses on Southeast Asian (SEA) languages. SeaLLMs are built upon the Llama-2 model and further advanced through continued pre-training with an extended vocabulary, specialized instruction and alignment tuning to better capture the intricacies of regional languages. This allows them to respect and reflect local cultural norms, customs, stylistic preferences, and legal considerations. Our comprehensive evaluation demonstrates that SeaLLM-13b models exhibit superior performance across a wide spectrum of linguistic tasks and assistant-style instruction-following capabilities relative to comparable open-source models. Moreover, they outperform ChatGPT-3.5 in non-Latin languages, such as Thai, Khmer, Lao, and Burmese, by large margins while remaining lightweight and cost-effective to operate.
Large Vision-Language Models (LVLMs) have advanced considerably, intertwining visual recognition and language understanding to generate content that is not only coherent but also contextually attuned. Despite their success, LVLMs still suffer from the issue of object hallucinations, where models generate plausible yet incorrect outputs that include objects that do not exist in the images. To mitigate this issue, we introduce Visual Contrastive Decoding (VCD), a simple and training-free method that contrasts output distributions derived from original and distorted visual inputs. The proposed VCD effectively reduces the over-reliance on statistical bias and unimodal priors, two essential causes of object hallucinations. This adjustment ensures the generated content is closely grounded to visual inputs, resulting in contextually accurate outputs. Our experiments show that VCD, without either additional training or the usage of external tools, significantly mitigates the object hallucination issue across different LVLM families. Beyond mitigating object hallucinations, VCD also excels in general LVLM benchmarks, highlighting its wide-ranging applicability.
Transformer-based Large Language Models (LLMs) are pioneering advances in many natural language processing tasks, however, their exceptional capabilities are restricted within the preset context window of Transformer. Position Embedding (PE) scaling methods, while effective in extending the context window to a specific length, demonstrate either notable limitations in their extrapolation abilities or sacrificing partial performance within the context window. Length extrapolation methods, although theoretically capable of extending the context window beyond the training sequence length, often underperform in practical long-context applications. To address these challenges, we propose Continuous Length EXtrapolation (CLEX) for LLMs. We generalise the PE scaling approaches to model the continuous dynamics by ordinary differential equations over the length scaling factor, thereby overcoming the constraints of current PE scaling methods designed for specific lengths. Moreover, by extending the dynamics to desired context lengths beyond the training sequence length, CLEX facilitates the length extrapolation with impressive performance in practical tasks. We demonstrate that CLEX can be seamlessly incorporated into LLMs equipped with Rotary Position Embedding, such as LLaMA and GPT-NeoX, with negligible impact on training and inference latency. Experimental results reveal that CLEX can effectively extend the context window to over 4x or almost 8x training length, with no deterioration in performance. Furthermore, when evaluated on the practical LongBench benchmark, our model trained on a 4k length exhibits competitive performance against state-of-the-art open-source models trained on context lengths up to 32k.
Parameter-efficient tuning (PETuning) methods have been deemed by many as the new paradigm for using pretrained language models (PLMs). By tuning just a fraction amount of parameters comparing to full model finetuning, PETuning methods claim to have achieved performance on par with or even better than finetuning. In this work, we take a step back and re-examine these PETuning methods by conducting the first comprehensive investigation into the training and evaluation of PETuning methods. We found the problematic validation and testing practice in current studies, when accompanied by the instability nature of PETuning methods, has led to unreliable conclusions. When being compared under a truly fair evaluation protocol, PETuning cannot yield consistently competitive performance while finetuning remains to be the best-performing method in medium- and high-resource settings. We delve deeper into the cause of the instability and observed that model size does not explain the phenomenon but training iteration positively correlates with the stability.