Dense retrieval models have predominantly been studied for English, where models have shown great success, due to the availability of human-labeled training pairs. However, there has been limited success for multilingual retrieval so far, as training data is uneven or scarcely available across multiple languages. Synthetic training data generation is promising (e.g., InPars or Promptagator), but has been investigated only for English. Therefore, to study model capabilities across both cross-lingual and monolingual retrieval tasks, we develop SWIM-IR, a synthetic retrieval training dataset containing 33 (high to very-low resource) languages for training multilingual dense retrieval models without requiring any human supervision. To construct SWIM-IR, we propose SAP (summarize-then-ask prompting), where the large language model (LLM) generates a textual summary prior to the query generation step. SAP assists the LLM in generating informative queries in the target language. Using SWIM-IR, we explore synthetic fine-tuning of multilingual dense retrieval models and evaluate them robustly on three retrieval benchmarks: XOR-Retrieve (cross-lingual), XTREME-UP (cross-lingual) and MIRACL (monolingual). Our models, called SWIM-X, are competitive with human-supervised dense retrieval models, e.g., mContriever, finding that SWIM-IR can cheaply substitute for expensive human-labeled retrieval training data.
We study data distillation for auto-regressive machine learning tasks, where the input and output have a strict left-to-right causal structure. More specifically, we propose Farzi, which summarizes an event sequence dataset into a small number of synthetic sequences -- Farzi Data -- which are optimized to maintain (if not improve) model performance compared to training on the full dataset. Under the hood, Farzi conducts memory-efficient data distillation by (i) deriving efficient reverse-mode differentiation of the Adam optimizer by leveraging Hessian-Vector Products; and (ii) factorizing the high-dimensional discrete event-space into a latent-space which provably promotes implicit regularization. Empirically, for sequential recommendation and language modeling tasks, we are able to achieve 98-120% of downstream full-data performance when training state-of-the-art models on Farzi Data of size as little as 0.1% of the original dataset. Notably, being able to train better models with significantly less data sheds light on the design of future large auto-regressive models, and opens up new opportunities to further scale up model and data sizes.
Large Language Models (LLMs) have demonstrated exceptional capabilities in generalizing to new tasks in a zero-shot or few-shot manner. However, the extent to which LLMs can comprehend user preferences based on their previous behavior remains an emerging and still unclear research question. Traditionally, Collaborative Filtering (CF) has been the most effective method for these tasks, predominantly relying on the extensive volume of rating data. In contrast, LLMs typically demand considerably less data while maintaining an exhaustive world knowledge about each item, such as movies or products. In this paper, we conduct a thorough examination of both CF and LLMs within the classic task of user rating prediction, which involves predicting a user's rating for a candidate item based on their past ratings. We investigate various LLMs in different sizes, ranging from 250M to 540B parameters and evaluate their performance in zero-shot, few-shot, and fine-tuning scenarios. We conduct comprehensive analysis to compare between LLMs and strong CF methods, and find that zero-shot LLMs lag behind traditional recommender models that have the access to user interaction data, indicating the importance of user interaction data. However, through fine-tuning, LLMs achieve comparable or even better performance with only a small fraction of the training data, demonstrating their potential through data efficiency.
Webpages have been a rich resource for language and vision-language tasks. Yet only pieces of webpages are kept: image-caption pairs, long text articles, or raw HTML, never all in one place. Webpage tasks have resultingly received little attention and structured image-text data underused. To study multimodal webpage understanding, we introduce the Wikipedia Webpage 2M (WikiWeb2M) suite; the first to retain the full set of images, text, and structure data available in a page. WikiWeb2M can be used for tasks like page description generation, section summarization, and contextual image captioning.
Webpages have been a rich, scalable resource for vision-language and language only tasks. Yet only pieces of webpages are kept: image-caption pairs, long text articles, or raw HTML, never all in one place. Webpage tasks have resultingly received little attention and structured image-text data left underused. To study multimodal webpage understanding, we introduce the Wikipedia Webpage suite (WikiWeb2M) of 2M pages. We verify its utility on three generative tasks: page description generation, section summarization, and contextual image captioning. We design a novel attention mechanism Prefix Global, which selects the most relevant image and text content as global tokens to attend to the rest of the webpage for context. By using page structure to separate such tokens, it performs better than full attention with lower computational complexity. Experiments show that the new annotations from WikiWeb2M improve task performance compared to data from prior work. We also include ablations on sequence length, input features, and model size.
We present Hybrid Infused Reranking for Passages Retrieval (HYRR), a framework for training rerankers based on a hybrid of BM25 and neural retrieval models. Retrievers based on hybrid models have been shown to outperform both BM25 and neural models alone. Our approach exploits this improved performance when training a reranker, leading to a robust reranking model. The reranker, a cross-attention neural model, is shown to be robust to different first-stage retrieval systems, achieving better performance than rerankers simply trained upon the first-stage retrievers in the multi-stage systems. We present evaluations on a supervised passage retrieval task using MS MARCO and zero-shot retrieval tasks using BEIR. The empirical results show strong performance on both evaluations.
Evaluating automatically-generated text summaries is a challenging task. While there have been many interesting approaches, they still fall short of human evaluations. We present RISE, a new approach for evaluating summaries by leveraging techniques from information retrieval. RISE is first trained as a retrieval task using a dual-encoder retrieval setup, and can then be subsequently utilized for evaluating a generated summary given an input document, without gold reference summaries. RISE is especially well suited when working on new datasets where one may not have reference summaries available for evaluation. We conduct comprehensive experiments on the SummEval benchmark (Fabbri et al., 2021) and the results show that RISE has higher correlation with human evaluations compared to many past approaches to summarization evaluation. Furthermore, RISE also demonstrates data-efficiency and generalizability across languages.
Large language models (LLMs) have shown impressive results across a variety of tasks while requiring little or no direct supervision. Further, there is mounting evidence that LLMs may have potential in information-seeking scenarios. We believe the ability of an LLM to attribute the text that it generates is likely to be crucial for both system developers and users in this setting. We propose and study Attributed QA as a key first step in the development of attributed LLMs. We develop a reproducable evaluation framework for the task, using human annotations as a gold standard and a correlated automatic metric that we show is suitable for development settings. We describe and benchmark a broad set of architectures for the task. Our contributions give some concrete answers to two key questions (How to measure attribution?, and How well do current state-of-the-art methods perform on attribution?), and give some hints as to how to address a third key question (How to build LLMs with attribution?).
Recently, substantial progress has been made in text ranking based on pretrained language models such as BERT. However, there are limited studies on how to leverage more powerful sequence-to-sequence models such as T5. Existing attempts usually formulate text ranking as classification and rely on postprocessing to obtain a ranked list. In this paper, we propose RankT5 and study two T5-based ranking model structures, an encoder-decoder and an encoder-only one, so that they not only can directly output ranking scores for each query-document pair, but also can be fine-tuned with "pairwise" or "listwise" ranking losses to optimize ranking performances. Our experiments show that the proposed models with ranking losses can achieve substantial ranking performance gains on different public text ranking data sets. Moreover, when fine-tuned with listwise ranking losses, the ranking model appears to have better zero-shot ranking performance on out-of-domain data sets compared to the model fine-tuned with classification losses.
Soft prompts have been recently proposed as a tool for adapting large frozen language models (LMs) to new tasks. In this work, we repurpose soft prompts to the task of injecting world knowledge into LMs. We introduce a method to train soft prompts via self-supervised learning on data from knowledge bases. The resulting soft knowledge prompts (KPs) are task independent and work as an external memory of the LMs. We perform qualitative and quantitative experiments and demonstrate that: (1) KPs can effectively model the structure of the training data; (2) KPs can be used to improve the performance of LMs in different knowledge intensive tasks.