Prompting with natural language instructions has recently emerged as a popular method of harnessing the capabilities of large language models. Given the inherent ambiguity present in natural language, it is intuitive to consider the possible advantages of prompting with less ambiguous prompt styles, such as the use of pseudo-code. In this paper we explore if prompting via pseudo-code instructions helps improve the performance of pre-trained language models. We manually create a dataset of pseudo-code prompts for 132 different tasks spanning classification, QA and generative language tasks, sourced from the Super-NaturalInstructions dataset. Using these prompts along with their counterparts in natural language, we study their performance on two LLM families - BLOOM and CodeGen. Our experiments show that using pseudo-code instructions leads to better results, with an average increase (absolute) of 7-16 points in F1 scores for classification tasks and an improvement (relative) of 12-38% in aggregate ROUGE-L scores across all tasks. We include detailed ablation studies which indicate that code comments, docstrings, and the structural clues encoded in pseudo-code all contribute towards the improvement in performance. To the best of our knowledge our work is the first to demonstrate how pseudo-code prompts can be helpful in improving the performance of pre-trained LMs.
The BigCode community, an open-scientific collaboration working on the responsible development of Large Language Models for Code (Code LLMs), introduces StarCoder and StarCoderBase: 15.5B parameter models with 8K context length, infilling capabilities and fast large-batch inference enabled by multi-query attention. StarCoderBase is trained on 1 trillion tokens sourced from The Stack, a large collection of permissively licensed GitHub repositories with inspection tools and an opt-out process. We fine-tuned StarCoderBase on 35B Python tokens, resulting in the creation of StarCoder. We perform the most comprehensive evaluation of Code LLMs to date and show that StarCoderBase outperforms every open Code LLM that supports multiple programming languages and matches or outperforms the OpenAI code-cushman-001 model. Furthermore, StarCoder outperforms every model that is fine-tuned on Python, can be prompted to achieve 40\% pass@1 on HumanEval, and still retains its performance on other programming languages. We take several important steps towards a safe open-access model release, including an improved PII redaction pipeline and a novel attribution tracing tool, and make the StarCoder models publicly available under a more commercially viable version of the Open Responsible AI Model license.
Real-world datasets exhibit imbalances of varying types and degrees. Several techniques based on re-weighting and margin adjustment of loss are often used to enhance the performance of neural networks, particularly on minority classes. In this work, we analyze the class-imbalanced learning problem by examining the loss landscape of neural networks trained with re-weighting and margin-based techniques. Specifically, we examine the spectral density of Hessian of class-wise loss, through which we observe that the network weights converge to a saddle point in the loss landscapes of minority classes. Following this observation, we also find that optimization methods designed to escape from saddle points can be effectively used to improve generalization on minority classes. We further theoretically and empirically demonstrate that Sharpness-Aware Minimization (SAM), a recent technique that encourages convergence to a flat minima, can be effectively used to escape saddle points for minority classes. Using SAM results in a 6.2\% increase in accuracy on the minority classes over the state-of-the-art Vector Scaling Loss, leading to an overall average increase of 4\% across imbalanced datasets. The code is available at: https://github.com/val-iisc/Saddle-LongTail.
Large language models (LLMs) have been shown to be able to perform new tasks based on a few demonstrations or natural language instructions. While these capabilities have led to widespread adoption, most LLMs are developed by resource-rich organizations and are frequently kept from the public. As a step towards democratizing this powerful technology, we present BLOOM, a 176B-parameter open-access language model designed and built thanks to a collaboration of hundreds of researchers. BLOOM is a decoder-only Transformer language model that was trained on the ROOTS corpus, a dataset comprising hundreds of sources in 46 natural and 13 programming languages (59 in total). We find that BLOOM achieves competitive performance on a wide variety of benchmarks, with stronger results after undergoing multitask prompted finetuning. To facilitate future research and applications using LLMs, we publicly release our models and code under the Responsible AI License.
Traditional systems designed for task oriented dialog utilize knowledge present only in structured knowledge sources to generate responses. However, relevant information required to generate responses may also reside in unstructured sources, such as documents. Recent state of the art models such as HyKnow and SeKnow aimed at overcoming these challenges make limiting assumptions about the knowledge sources. For instance, these systems assume that certain types of information, such as a phone number, is always present in a structured KB while information about aspects such as entrance ticket prices would always be available in documents. In this paper, we create a modified version of the MutliWOZ based dataset prepared by SeKnow to demonstrate how current methods have significant degradation in performance when strict assumptions about the source of information are removed. Then, in line with recent work exploiting pre-trained language models, we fine-tune a BART based model using prompts for the tasks of querying knowledge sources, as well as, for response generation, without making assumptions about the information present in each knowledge source. Through a series of experiments, we demonstrate that our model is robust to perturbations to knowledge modality (source of information), and that it can fuse information from structured as well as unstructured knowledge to generate responses.
Domain adversarial training has been ubiquitous for achieving invariant representations and is used widely for various domain adaptation tasks. In recent times, methods converging to smooth optima have shown improved generalization for supervised learning tasks like classification. In this work, we analyze the effect of smoothness enhancing formulations on domain adversarial training, the objective of which is a combination of task loss (eg. classification, regression, etc.) and adversarial terms. We find that converging to a smooth minima with respect to (w.r.t.) task loss stabilizes the adversarial training leading to better performance on target domain. In contrast to task loss, our analysis shows that converging to smooth minima w.r.t. adversarial loss leads to sub-optimal generalization on the target domain. Based on the analysis, we introduce the Smooth Domain Adversarial Training (SDAT) procedure, which effectively enhances the performance of existing domain adversarial methods for both classification and object detection tasks. Our analysis also provides insight into the extensive usage of SGD over Adam in the community for domain adversarial training.
Recent methods for knowledge grounded dialogs generate responses by incorporating information from an external textual document. These methods do not require the exact document to be known during training and rely on the use of a retrieval system to fetch relevant documents from a large index. The documents used to generate the responses are modeled as latent variables whose prior probabilities need to be estimated. Models such as RAG , marginalize the document probabilities over the documents retrieved from the index to define the log likelihood loss function which is optimized end-to-end. In this paper, we develop a variational approach to the above technique wherein, we instead maximize the Evidence Lower bound (ELBO). Using a collection of three publicly available open-conversation datasets, we demonstrate how the posterior distribution, that has information from the ground-truth response, allows for a better approximation of the objective function during training. To overcome the challenges associated with sampling over a large knowledge collection, we develop an efficient approach to approximate the ELBO. To the best of our knowledge we are the first to apply variational training for open-scale unsupervised knowledge grounded dialog systems.
Meta Learning has been in focus in recent years due to the meta-learner model's ability to adapt well and generalize to new tasks, thus, reducing both the time and data requirements for learning. However, a major drawback of meta learner is that, to reach to a state from where learning new tasks becomes feasible with less data, it requires a large number of iterations and a lot of time. We address this issue by proposing various acceleration techniques to speed up meta learning algorithms such as MAML (Model Agnostic Meta Learning). We present 3.73X acceleration on a well known RNN optimizer based meta learner proposed in literature . We introduce a novel method of training tasks in clusters, which not only accelerates the meta learning process but also improves model accuracy performance. Keywords: Meta learning, RNN optimizer, AGI, Performance optimization