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Yijiang River Dong, Hongzhou Lin, Mikhail Belkin, Ramon Huerta, Ivan Vulić

While displaying impressive generation capabilities across many tasks, Large Language Models (LLMs) still struggle with crucial issues of privacy violation and unwanted exposure of sensitive data. This raises an essential question: how should we prevent such undesired behavior of LLMs while maintaining their strong generation and natural language understanding (NLU) capabilities? In this work, we introduce a novel approach termed deliberate imagination in the context of LLM unlearning. Instead of trying to forget memorized data, we employ a self-distillation framework, guiding LLMs to deliberately imagine alternative scenarios. As demonstrated in a wide range of experiments, the proposed method not only effectively unlearns targeted text but also preserves the LLMs' capabilities in open-ended generation tasks as well as in NLU tasks. Our results demonstrate the usefulness of this approach across different models and sizes, and also with parameter-efficient fine-tuning, offering a novel pathway to addressing the challenges with private and sensitive data in LLM applications.

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Qingyi Wang, Shenhao Wang, Yunhan Zheng, Hongzhou Lin, Xiaohu Zhang, Jinhua Zhao, Joan Walker

Classical demand modeling analyzes travel behavior using only low-dimensional numeric data (i.e. sociodemographics and travel attributes) but not high-dimensional urban imagery. However, travel behavior depends on the factors represented by both numeric data and urban imagery, thus necessitating a synergetic framework to combine them. This study creates a theoretical framework of deep hybrid models with a crossing structure consisting of a mixing operator and a behavioral predictor, thus integrating the numeric and imagery data into a latent space. Empirically, this framework is applied to analyze travel mode choice using the MyDailyTravel Survey from Chicago as the numeric inputs and the satellite images as the imagery inputs. We found that deep hybrid models outperform both the traditional demand models and the recent deep learning in predicting the aggregate and disaggregate travel behavior with our supervision-as-mixing design. The latent space in deep hybrid models can be interpreted, because it reveals meaningful spatial and social patterns. The deep hybrid models can also generate new urban images that do not exist in reality and interpret them with economic theory, such as computing substitution patterns and social welfare changes. Overall, the deep hybrid models demonstrate the complementarity between the low-dimensional numeric and high-dimensional imagery data and between the traditional demand modeling and recent deep learning. It generalizes the latent classes and variables in classical hybrid demand models to a latent space, and leverages the computational power of deep learning for imagery while retaining the economic interpretability on the microeconomics foundation.

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Yossi Arjevani, Joan Bruna, Bugra Can, Mert Gürbüzbalaban, Stefanie Jegelka, Hongzhou Lin

We introduce a framework for designing primal methods under the decentralized optimization setting where local functions are smooth and strongly convex. Our approach consists of approximately solving a sequence of sub-problems induced by the accelerated augmented Lagrangian method, thereby providing a systematic way for deriving several well-known decentralized algorithms including EXTRA arXiv:1404.6264 and SSDA arXiv:1702.08704. When coupled with accelerated gradient descent, our framework yields a novel primal algorithm whose convergence rate is optimal and matched by recently derived lower bounds. We provide experimental results that demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm on highly ill-conditioned problems.

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Jingzhao Zhang, Hongzhou Lin, Subhro Das, Suvrit Sra, Ali Jadbabaie

We investigate stochastic optimization problems under relaxed assumptions on the distribution of noise that are motivated by empirical observations in neural network training. Standard results on optimal convergence rates for stochastic optimization assume either there exists a uniform bound on the moments of the gradient noise, or that the noise decays as the algorithm progresses. These assumptions do not match the empirical behavior of optimization algorithms used in neural network training where the noise level in stochastic gradients could even increase with time. We address this behavior by studying convergence rates of stochastic gradient methods subject to changing second moment (or variance) of the stochastic oracle as the iterations progress. When the variation in the noise is known, we show that it is always beneficial to adapt the step-size and exploit the noise variability. When the noise statistics are unknown, we obtain similar improvements by developing an online estimator of the noise level, thereby recovering close variants of RMSProp. Consequently, our results reveal an important scenario where adaptive stepsize methods outperform SGD.

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Jingzhao Zhang, Hongzhou Lin, Stefanie Jegelka, Ali Jadbabaie, Suvrit Sra

We provide the first \emph{non-asymptotic} analysis for finding stationary points of nonsmooth, nonconvex functions. In particular, we study the class of Hadamard semi-differentiable functions, perhaps the largest class of nonsmooth functions for which the chain rule of calculus holds. This class contains important examples such as ReLU neural networks and others with non-differentiable activation functions. First, we show that finding an $\epsilon$-stationary point with first-order methods is impossible in finite time. Therefore, we introduce the notion of \emph{$(\delta, \epsilon)$-stationarity}, a generalization that allows for a point to be within distance $\delta$ of an $\epsilon$-stationary point and reduces to $\epsilon$-stationarity for smooth functions. We propose a series of randomized first-order methods and analyze their complexity of finding a $(\delta, \epsilon)$-stationary point. Furthermore, we provide a lower bound and show that our stochastic algorithm has min-max optimal dependence on $\delta$. Empirically, our methods perform well for training ReLU neural networks.

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Yossi Arjevani, Amit Daniely, Stefanie Jegelka, Hongzhou Lin

Recent advances in randomized incremental methods for minimizing $L$-smooth $\mu$-strongly convex finite sums have culminated in tight complexity of $\tilde{O}((n+\sqrt{n L/\mu})\log(1/\epsilon))$ and $O(n+\sqrt{nL/\epsilon})$, where $\mu>0$ and $\mu=0$, respectively, and $n$ denotes the number of individual functions. Unlike incremental methods, stochastic methods for finite sums do not rely on an explicit knowledge of which individual function is being addressed at each iteration, and as such, must perform at least $\Omega(n^2)$ iterations to obtain $O(1/n^2)$-optimal solutions. In this work, we exploit the finite noise structure of finite sums to derive a matching $O(n^2)$-upper bound under the global oracle model, showing that this lower bound is indeed tight. Following a similar approach, we propose a novel adaptation of SVRG which is both \emph{compatible with stochastic oracles}, and achieves complexity bounds of $\tilde{O}((n^2+n\sqrt{L/\mu})\log(1/\epsilon))$ and $O(n\sqrt{L/\epsilon})$, for $\mu>0$ and $\mu=0$, respectively. Our bounds hold w.h.p. and match in part existing lower bounds of $\tilde{\Omega}(n^2+\sqrt{nL/\mu}\log(1/\epsilon))$ and $\tilde{\Omega}(n^2+\sqrt{nL/\epsilon})$, for $\mu>0$ and $\mu=0$, respectively.

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Hongzhou Lin, Julien Mairal, Zaid Harchaoui

We propose an inexact variable-metric proximal point algorithm to accelerate gradient-based optimization algorithms. The proposed scheme, called QNing can be notably applied to incremental first-order methods such as the stochastic variance-reduced gradient descent algorithm (SVRG) and other randomized incremental optimization algorithms. QNing is also compatible with composite objectives, meaning that it has the ability to provide exactly sparse solutions when the objective involves a sparsity-inducing regularization. When combined with limited-memory BFGS rules, QNing is particularly effective to solve high-dimensional optimization problems, while enjoying a worst-case linear convergence rate for strongly convex problems. We present experimental results where QNing gives significant improvements over competing methods for training machine learning methods on large samples and in high dimensions.

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Hongzhou Lin, Stefanie Jegelka

We demonstrate that a very deep ResNet with stacked modules with one neuron per hidden layer and ReLU activation functions can uniformly approximate any Lebesgue integrable function in $d$ dimensions, i.e. $\ell_1(\mathbb{R}^d)$. Because of the identity mapping inherent to ResNets, our network has alternating layers of dimension one and $d$. This stands in sharp contrast to fully connected networks, which are not universal approximators if their width is the input dimension $d$ [Lu et al, 2017; Hanin and Sellke, 2017]. Hence, our result implies an increase in representational power for narrow deep networks by the ResNet architecture.

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