The scientific scale-up of large language models (LLMs) necessitates a comprehensive understanding of their scaling properties. However, the existing literature on the scaling properties only yields an incomplete answer: optimization loss decreases predictably as the model size increases, in line with established scaling law; yet no scaling law for task has been established and the task performances are far from predictable during scaling. Task performances typically show minor gains on small models until they improve dramatically once models exceed a size threshold, exemplifying the ``emergent abilities''. In this study, we discover that small models, although they exhibit minor performance, demonstrate critical and consistent task performance improvements that are not captured by conventional evaluation strategies due to insufficient measurement resolution. To measure such improvements, we introduce PassUntil, an evaluation strategy through massive sampling in the decoding phase. We conduct quantitative investigations into the scaling law of task performance. Firstly, a strict task scaling law is identified, enhancing the predictability of task performances. Remarkably, we are able to predict the performance of the 2.4B model on code generation with merely 0.05\% deviation before training starts. Secondly, underpinned by PassUntil, we observe concrete evidence of emergent abilities and ascertain that they are not in conflict with the continuity of performance improvement. Their semblance to break-through is that their scaling curve cannot be fitted by standard scaling law function. We then introduce a mathematical definition for the emergent abilities. Through the definition, we refute a prevalent ``multi-step reasoning hypothesis'' regarding the genesis of emergent abilities and propose a new hypothesis with a satisfying fit to the observed scaling curve.
Recent years have witnessed the success of question answering (QA), especially its potential to be a foundation paradigm for tackling diverse NLP tasks. However, obtaining sufficient data to build an effective and stable QA system still remains an open problem. For this problem, we introduce an iterative bootstrapping framework for QA data augmentation (named QASnowball), which can iteratively generate large-scale high-quality QA data based on a seed set of supervised examples. Specifically, QASnowball consists of three modules, an answer extractor to extract core phrases in unlabeled documents as candidate answers, a question generator to generate questions based on documents and candidate answers, and a QA data filter to filter out high-quality QA data. Moreover, QASnowball can be self-enhanced by reseeding the seed set to fine-tune itself in different iterations, leading to continual improvements in the generation quality. We conduct experiments in the high-resource English scenario and the medium-resource Chinese scenario, and the experimental results show that the data generated by QASnowball can facilitate QA models: (1) training models on the generated data achieves comparable results to using supervised data, and (2) pre-training on the generated data and fine-tuning on supervised data can achieve better performance. Our code and generated data will be released to advance further work.
Realizing general-purpose language intelligence has been a longstanding goal for natural language processing, where standard evaluation benchmarks play a fundamental and guiding role. We argue that for general-purpose language intelligence evaluation, the benchmark itself needs to be comprehensive and systematic. To this end, we propose CUGE, a Chinese Language Understanding and Generation Evaluation benchmark with the following features: (1) Hierarchical benchmark framework, where datasets are principally selected and organized with a language capability-task-dataset hierarchy. (2) Multi-level scoring strategy, where different levels of model performance are provided based on the hierarchical framework. To facilitate CUGE, we provide a public leaderboard that can be customized to support flexible model judging criteria. Evaluation results on representative pre-trained language models indicate ample room for improvement towards general-purpose language intelligence. CUGE is publicly available at cuge.baai.ac.cn.
In recent years, the size of pre-trained language models (PLMs) has grown by leaps and bounds. However, efficiency issues of these large-scale PLMs limit their utilization in real-world scenarios. We present a suite of cost-effective techniques for the use of PLMs to deal with the efficiency issues of pre-training, fine-tuning, and inference. (1) We introduce knowledge inheritance to accelerate the pre-training process by exploiting existing PLMs instead of training models from scratch. (2) We explore the best practice of prompt tuning with large-scale PLMs. Compared with conventional fine-tuning, prompt tuning significantly reduces the number of task-specific parameters. (3) We implement a new inference toolkit, namely InfMoE, for using large-scale PLMs with limited computational resources. Based on our cost-effective pipeline, we pre-train two models: an encoder-decoder bilingual model with 11 billion parameters (CPM-2) and its corresponding MoE version with 198 billion parameters. In our experiments, we compare CPM-2 with mT5 on downstream tasks. Experimental results show that CPM-2 has excellent general language intelligence. Moreover, we validate the efficiency of InfMoE when conducting inference of large-scale models having tens of billions of parameters on a single GPU. All source code and model parameters are available at https://github.com/TsinghuaAI/CPM.
Pre-trained Language Models (PLMs) have proven to be beneficial for various downstream NLP tasks. Recently, GPT-3, with 175 billion parameters and 570GB training data, drew a lot of attention due to the capacity of few-shot (even zero-shot) learning. However, applying GPT-3 to address Chinese NLP tasks is still challenging, as the training corpus of GPT-3 is primarily English, and the parameters are not publicly available. In this technical report, we release the Chinese Pre-trained Language Model (CPM) with generative pre-training on large-scale Chinese training data. To the best of our knowledge, CPM, with 2.6 billion parameters and 100GB Chinese training data, is the largest Chinese pre-trained language model, which could facilitate several downstream Chinese NLP tasks, such as conversation, essay generation, cloze test, and language understanding. Extensive experiments demonstrate that CPM achieves strong performance on many NLP tasks in the settings of few-shot (even zero-shot) learning. The code and parameters are available at https://github.com/TsinghuaAI/CPM-Generate.
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.
While adversarial games have been well studied in various board games and electronic sports games, etc., such adversarial games remain a nearly blank field in natural language processing. As natural language is inherently an interactive game, we propose a challenging pragmatics game called Adversarial Taboo, in which an attacker and a defender compete with each other through sequential natural language interactions. The attacker is tasked with inducing the defender to speak a target word invisible to the defender, while the defender is tasked with detecting the target word before being induced by the attacker. In Adversarial Taboo, a successful attacker must hide its intention and subtly induce the defender, while a competitive defender must be cautious with its utterances and infer the intention of the attacker. To instantiate the game, we create a game environment and a competition platform. Sufficient pilot experiments and empirical studies on several baseline attack and defense strategies show promising and interesting results. Based on the analysis on the game and experiments, we discuss multiple promising directions for future research.