Large language models (LLMs) have demonstrated impressive capabilities in natural language processing. However, their internal mechanisms are still unclear and this lack of transparency poses unwanted risks for downstream applications. Therefore, understanding and explaining these models is crucial for elucidating their behaviors, limitations, and social impacts. In this paper, we introduce a taxonomy of explainability techniques and provide a structured overview of methods for explaining Transformer-based language models. We categorize techniques based on the training paradigms of LLMs: traditional fine-tuning-based paradigm and prompting-based paradigm. For each paradigm, we summarize the goals and dominant approaches for generating local explanations of individual predictions and global explanations of overall model knowledge. We also discuss metrics for evaluating generated explanations, and discuss how explanations can be leveraged to debug models and improve performance. Lastly, we examine key challenges and emerging opportunities for explanation techniques in the era of LLMs in comparison to conventional machine learning models.
In open-domain question answering, due to the ambiguity of questions, multiple plausible answers may exist. To provide feasible answers to an ambiguous question, one approach is to directly predict all valid answers, but this can struggle with balancing relevance and diversity. An alternative is to gather candidate answers and aggregate them, but this method can be computationally costly and may neglect dependencies among answers. In this paper, we present AmbigPrompt to address the imperfections of existing approaches to answering ambiguous questions. Specifically, we integrate an answering model with a prompting model in an iterative manner. The prompting model adaptively tracks the reading process and progressively triggers the answering model to compose distinct and relevant answers. Additionally, we develop a task-specific post-pretraining approach for both the answering model and the prompting model, which greatly improves the performance of our framework. Empirical studies on two commonly-used open benchmarks show that AmbigPrompt achieves state-of-the-art or competitive results while using less memory and having a lower inference latency than competing approaches. Additionally, AmbigPrompt also performs well in low-resource settings. The code are available at: https://github.com/sunnweiwei/AmbigPrompt.
Extracting query-document relevance from the sparse, biased clickthrough log is among the most fundamental tasks in the web search system. Prior art mainly learns a relevance judgment model with semantic features of the query and document and ignores directly counterfactual relevance evaluation from the clicking log. Though the learned semantic matching models can provide relevance signals for tail queries as long as the semantic feature is available. However, such a paradigm lacks the capability to introspectively adjust the biased relevance estimation whenever it conflicts with massive implicit user feedback. The counterfactual evaluation methods, on the contrary, ensure unbiased relevance estimation with sufficient click information. However, they suffer from the sparse or even missing clicks caused by the long-tailed query distribution. In this paper, we propose to unify the counterfactual evaluating and learning approaches for unbiased relevance estimation on search queries with various popularities. Specifically, we theoretically develop a doubly robust estimator with low bias and variance, which intentionally combines the benefits of existing relevance evaluating and learning approaches. We further instantiate the proposed unbiased relevance estimation framework in Baidu search, with comprehensive practical solutions designed regarding the data pipeline for click behavior tracking and online relevance estimation with an approximated deep neural network. Finally, we present extensive empirical evaluations to verify the effectiveness of our proposed framework, finding that it is robust in practice and manages to improve online ranking performance substantially.
As the heart of a search engine, the ranking system plays a crucial role in satisfying users' information demands. More recently, neural rankers fine-tuned from pre-trained language models (PLMs) establish state-of-the-art ranking effectiveness. However, it is nontrivial to directly apply these PLM-based rankers to the large-scale web search system due to the following challenging issues:(1) the prohibitively expensive computations of massive neural PLMs, especially for long texts in the web-document, prohibit their deployments in an online ranking system that demands extremely low latency;(2) the discrepancy between existing ranking-agnostic pre-training objectives and the ad-hoc retrieval scenarios that demand comprehensive relevance modeling is another main barrier for improving the online ranking system;(3) a real-world search engine typically involves a committee of ranking components, and thus the compatibility of the individually fine-tuned ranking model is critical for a cooperative ranking system. In this work, we contribute a series of successfully applied techniques in tackling these exposed issues when deploying the state-of-the-art Chinese pre-trained language model, i.e., ERNIE, in the online search engine system. We first articulate a novel practice to cost-efficiently summarize the web document and contextualize the resultant summary content with the query using a cheap yet powerful Pyramid-ERNIE architecture. Then we endow an innovative paradigm to finely exploit the large-scale noisy and biased post-click behavioral data for relevance-oriented pre-training. We also propose a human-anchored fine-tuning strategy tailored for the online ranking system, aiming to stabilize the ranking signals across various online components. Extensive offline and online experimental results show that the proposed techniques significantly boost the search engine's performance.
Neural dialogue response generation has gained much popularity in recent years. Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) objective is widely adopted in existing dialogue model learning. However, models trained with MLE objective function are plagued by the low-diversity issue when it comes to the open-domain conversational setting. Inspired by the observation that humans not only learn from the positive signals but also benefit from correcting behaviors of undesirable actions, in this work, we introduce contrastive learning into dialogue generation, where the model explicitly perceives the difference between the well-chosen positive and negative utterances. Specifically, we employ a pretrained baseline model as a reference. During contrastive learning, the target dialogue model is trained to give higher conditional probabilities for the positive samples, and lower conditional probabilities for those negative samples, compared to the reference model. To manage the multi-mapping relations prevailed in human conversation, we augment contrastive dialogue learning with group-wise dual sampling. Extensive experimental results show that the proposed group-wise contrastive learning framework is suited for training a wide range of neural dialogue generation models with very favorable performance over the baseline training approaches.
Current state-of-the-art neural dialogue models learn from human conversations following the data-driven paradigm. As such, a reliable training corpus is the crux of building a robust and well-behaved dialogue model. However, due to the open-ended nature of human conversations, the quality of user-generated training data varies greatly, and effective training samples are typically insufficient while noisy samples frequently appear. This impedes the learning of those data-driven neural dialogue models. Therefore, effective dialogue learning requires not only more reliable learning samples, but also fewer noisy samples. In this paper, we propose a data manipulation framework to proactively reshape the data distribution towards reliable samples by augmenting and highlighting effective learning samples as well as reducing the effect of inefficient samples simultaneously. In particular, the data manipulation model selectively augments the training samples and assigns an importance weight to each instance to reform the training data. Note that, the proposed data manipulation framework is fully data-driven and learnable. It not only manipulates training samples to optimize the dialogue generation model, but also learns to increase its manipulation skills through gradient descent with validation samples. Extensive experiments show that our framework can improve the dialogue generation performance with respect to 13 automatic evaluation metrics and human judgments.
Current state-of-the-art neural dialogue systems are mainly data-driven and are trained on human-generated responses. However, due to the subjectivity and open-ended nature of human conversations, the complexity of training dialogues varies greatly. The noise and uneven complexity of query-response pairs impede the learning efficiency and effects of the neural dialogue generation models. What is more, so far, there are no unified dialogue complexity measurements, and the dialogue complexity embodies multiple aspects of attributes---specificity, repetitiveness, relevance, etc. Inspired by human behaviors of learning to converse, where children learn from easy dialogues to complex ones and dynamically adjust their learning progress, in this paper, we first analyze five dialogue attributes to measure the dialogue complexity in multiple perspectives on three publicly available corpora. Then, we propose an adaptive multi-curricula learning framework to schedule a committee of the organized curricula. The framework is established upon the reinforcement learning paradigm, which automatically chooses different curricula at the evolving learning process according to the learning status of the neural dialogue generation model. Extensive experiments conducted on five state-of-the-art models demonstrate its learning efficiency and effectiveness with respect to 13 automatic evaluation metrics and human judgments.