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Kareem Ahmed, Stefano Teso, Paolo Morettin, Luca Di Liello, Pierfrancesco Ardino, Jacopo Gobbi, Yitao Liang, Eric Wang, Kai-Wei Chang, Andrea Passerini, Guy Van den Broeck

Structured output prediction problems are ubiquitous in machine learning. The prominent approach leverages neural networks as powerful feature extractors, otherwise assuming the independence of the outputs. These outputs, however, jointly encode an object, e.g. a path in a graph, and are therefore related through the structure underlying the output space. We discuss the semantic loss, which injects knowledge about such structure, defined symbolically, into training by minimizing the network's violation of such dependencies, steering the network towards predicting distributions satisfying the underlying structure. At the same time, it is agnostic to the arrangement of the symbols, and depends only on the semantics expressed thereby, while also enabling efficient end-to-end training and inference. We also discuss key improvements and applications of the semantic loss. One limitations of the semantic loss is that it does not exploit the association of every data point with certain features certifying its membership in a target class. We should therefore prefer minimum-entropy distributions over valid structures, which we obtain by additionally minimizing the neuro-symbolic entropy. We empirically demonstrate the benefits of this more refined formulation. Moreover, the semantic loss is designed to be modular and can be combined with both discriminative and generative neural models. This is illustrated by integrating it into generative adversarial networks, yielding constrained adversarial networks, a novel class of deep generative models able to efficiently synthesize complex objects obeying the structure of the underlying domain.

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Siyan Zhao, Daniel Israel, Guy Van den Broeck, Aditya Grover

During inference for transformer-based large language models (LLM), prefilling is the computation of the key-value (KV) cache for input tokens in the prompt prior to autoregressive generation. For longer input prompt lengths, prefilling will incur a significant overhead on decoding time. In this work, we highlight the following pitfall of prefilling: for batches containing high-varying prompt lengths, significant computation is wasted by the standard practice of padding sequences to the maximum length. As LLMs increasingly support longer context lengths, potentially up to 10 million tokens, variations in prompt lengths within a batch become more pronounced. To address this, we propose Prepacking, a simple yet effective method to optimize prefilling computation. To avoid redundant computation on pad tokens, prepacking combines prompts of varying lengths into a sequence and packs multiple sequences into a compact batch using a bin-packing algorithm. It then modifies the attention mask and positional encoding to compute multiple prefilled KV-caches for multiple prompts within a single sequence. On standard curated dataset containing prompts with varying lengths, we obtain a significant speed and memory efficiency improvements as compared to the default padding-based prefilling computation within Huggingface across a range of base model configurations and inference serving scenarios.

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Laura Manduchi, Kushagra Pandey, Robert Bamler, Ryan Cotterell, Sina Däubener, Sophie Fellenz, Asja Fischer, Thomas Gärtner, Matthias Kirchler, Marius Kloft, Yingzhen Li, Christoph Lippert, Gerard de Melo, Eric Nalisnick, Björn Ommer, Rajesh Ranganath, Maja Rudolph, Karen Ullrich, Guy Van den Broeck, Julia E Vogt, Yixin Wang, Florian Wenzel, Frank Wood, Stephan Mandt, Vincent Fortuin

The field of deep generative modeling has grown rapidly and consistently over the years. With the availability of massive amounts of training data coupled with advances in scalable unsupervised learning paradigms, recent large-scale generative models show tremendous promise in synthesizing high-resolution images and text, as well as structured data such as videos and molecules. However, we argue that current large-scale generative AI models do not sufficiently address several fundamental issues that hinder their widespread adoption across domains. In this work, we aim to identify key unresolved challenges in modern generative AI paradigms that should be tackled to further enhance their capabilities, versatility, and reliability. By identifying these challenges, we aim to provide researchers with valuable insights for exploring fruitful research directions, thereby fostering the development of more robust and accessible generative AI solutions.

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Oliver Broadrick, Honghua Zhang, Guy Van den Broeck

Probabilistic circuits compute multilinear polynomials that represent probability distributions. They are tractable models that support efficient marginal inference. However, various polynomial semantics have been considered in the literature (e.g., network polynomials, likelihood polynomials, generating functions, Fourier transforms, and characteristic polynomials). The relationships between these polynomial encodings of distributions is largely unknown. In this paper, we prove that for binary distributions, each of these probabilistic circuit models is equivalent in the sense that any circuit for one of them can be transformed into a circuit for any of the others with only a polynomial increase in size. They are therefore all tractable for marginal inference on the same class of distributions. Finally, we explore the natural extension of one such polynomial semantics, called probabilistic generating circuits, to categorical random variables, and establish that marginal inference becomes #P-hard.

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Kareem Ahmed, Kai-Wei Chang, Guy Van den Broeck

Neuro-symbolic AI bridges the gap between purely symbolic and neural approaches to learning. This often requires maximizing the likelihood of a symbolic constraint w.r.t the neural network's output distribution. Such output distributions are typically assumed to be fully-factorized. This limits the applicability of neuro-symbolic learning to the more expressive autoregressive distributions, e.g., transformers. Under such distributions, computing the likelihood of even simple constraints is #P-hard. Instead of attempting to enforce the constraint on the entire output distribution, we propose to do so on a random, local approximation thereof. More precisely, we optimize the likelihood of the constraint under a pseudolikelihood-based approximation centered around a model sample. Our approximation is factorized, allowing the reuse of solutions to sub-problems, a main tenet for efficiently computing neuro-symbolic losses. Moreover, it is a local, high-fidelity approximation of the likelihood, exhibiting low entropy and KL-divergence around the model sample. We evaluate our approach on Sudoku and shortest-path prediction cast as autoregressive generation, and observe that we greatly improve upon the base model's ability to predict logically-consistent outputs. We also evaluate on the task of detoxifying large language models. Using a simple constraint disallowing a list of toxic words, we are able to steer the model's outputs away from toxic generations, achieving SoTA detoxification compared to previous approaches.

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Vinay Shukla, Zhe Zeng, Kareem Ahmed, Guy Van den Broeck

High-quality labels are often very scarce, whereas unlabeled data with inferred weak labels occurs more naturally. In many cases, these weak labels dictate the frequency of each respective class over a set of instances. In this paper, we develop a unified approach to learning from such weakly-labeled data, which we call count-based weakly-supervised learning. At the heart of our approach is the ability to compute the probability of exactly k out of n outputs being set to true. This computation is differentiable, exact, and efficient. Building upon the previous computation, we derive a count loss penalizing the model for deviations in its distribution from an arithmetic constraint defined over label counts. We evaluate our approach on three common weakly-supervised learning paradigms and observe that our proposed approach achieves state-of-the-art or highly competitive results across all three of the paradigms.

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Xuejie Liu, Anji Liu, Guy Van den Broeck, Yitao Liang

A popular paradigm for offline Reinforcement Learning (RL) tasks is to first fit the offline trajectories to a sequence model, and then prompt the model for actions that lead to high expected return. While a common consensus is that more expressive sequence models imply better performance, this paper highlights that tractability, the ability to exactly and efficiently answer various probabilistic queries, plays an equally important role. Specifically, due to the fundamental stochasticity from the offline data-collection policies and the environment dynamics, highly non-trivial conditional/constrained generation is required to elicit rewarding actions. While it is still possible to approximate such queries, we observe that such crude estimates significantly undermine the benefits brought by expressive sequence models. To overcome this problem, this paper proposes Trifle (Tractable Inference for Offline RL), which leverages modern Tractable Probabilistic Models (TPMs) to bridge the gap between good sequence models and high expected returns at evaluation time. Empirically, Trifle achieves the most state-of-the-art scores in 9 Gym-MuJoCo benchmarks against strong baselines. Further, owing to its tractability, Trifle significantly outperforms prior approaches in stochastic environments and safe RL tasks (e.g. with action constraints) with minimum algorithmic modifications.

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Chendi Qian, Andrei Manolache, Kareem Ahmed, Zhe Zeng, Guy Van den Broeck, Mathias Niepert, Christopher Morris

Message-passing graph neural networks (MPNNs) emerged as powerful tools for processing graph-structured input. However, they operate on a fixed input graph structure, ignoring potential noise and missing information. Furthermore, their local aggregation mechanism can lead to problems such as over-squashing and limited expressive power in capturing relevant graph structures. Existing solutions to these challenges have primarily relied on heuristic methods, often disregarding the underlying data distribution. Hence, devising principled approaches for learning to infer graph structures relevant to the given prediction task remains an open challenge. In this work, leveraging recent progress in exact and differentiable $k$-subset sampling, we devise probabilistically rewired MPNNs (PR-MPNNs), which learn to add relevant edges while omitting less beneficial ones. For the first time, our theoretical analysis explores how PR-MPNNs enhance expressive power, and we identify precise conditions under which they outperform purely randomized approaches. Empirically, we demonstrate that our approach effectively mitigates issues like over-squashing and under-reaching. In addition, on established real-world datasets, our method exhibits competitive or superior predictive performance compared to traditional MPNN models and recent graph transformer architectures.

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Daniel Israel, Aditya Grover, Guy Van den Broeck

Backdoor adjustment is a technique in causal inference for estimating interventional quantities from purely observational data. For example, in medical settings, backdoor adjustment can be used to control for confounding and estimate the effectiveness of a treatment. However, high dimensional treatments and confounders pose a series of potential pitfalls: tractability, identifiability, optimization. In this work, we take a generative modeling approach to backdoor adjustment for high dimensional treatments and confounders. We cast backdoor adjustment as an optimization problem in variational inference without reliance on proxy variables and hidden confounders. Empirically, our method is able to estimate interventional likelihood in a variety of high dimensional settings, including semi-synthetic X-ray medical data. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first application of backdoor adjustment in which all the relevant variables are high dimensional.

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William X. Cao, Poorva Garg, Ryan Tjoa, Steven Holtzen, Todd Millstein, Guy Van den Broeck

Distributions on integers are ubiquitous in probabilistic modeling but remain challenging for many of today's probabilistic programming languages (PPLs). The core challenge comes from discrete structure: many of today's PPL inference strategies rely on enumeration, sampling, or differentiation in order to scale, which fail for high-dimensional complex discrete distributions involving integers. Our insight is that there is structure in arithmetic that these approaches are not using. We present a binary encoding strategy for discrete distributions that exploits the rich logical structure of integer operations like summation and comparison. We leverage this structured encoding with knowledge compilation to perform exact probabilistic inference, and show that this approach scales to much larger integer distributions with arithmetic.

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