Language models have outpaced our ability to evaluate them effectively, but for their future development it is essential to study the frontier of their capabilities. We consider real-world software engineering to be a rich, sustainable, and challenging testbed for evaluating the next generation of language models. We therefore introduce SWE-bench, an evaluation framework including $2,294$ software engineering problems drawn from real GitHub issues and corresponding pull requests across $12$ popular Python repositories. Given a codebase along with a description of an issue to be resolved, a language model is tasked with editing the codebase to address the issue. Resolving issues in SWE-bench frequently requires understanding and coordinating changes across multiple functions, classes, and even files simultaneously, calling for models to interact with execution environments, process extremely long contexts and perform complex reasoning that goes far beyond traditional code generation. Our evaluations show that both state-of-the-art proprietary models and our fine-tuned model SWE-Llama can resolve only the simplest issues. Claude 2 and GPT-4 solve a mere $4.8$% and $1.7$% of instances respectively, even when provided with an oracle retriever. Advances on SWE-bench represent steps towards LMs that are more practical, intelligent, and autonomous.
A major risk of using language models in practical applications is their tendency to hallucinate incorrect statements. Hallucinations are often attributed to knowledge gaps in LMs, but we hypothesize that in some cases, when justifying previously generated hallucinations, LMs output false claims that they can separately recognize as incorrect. We construct three question-answering datasets where ChatGPT and GPT-4 often state an incorrect answer and offer an explanation with at least one incorrect claim. Crucially, we find that ChatGPT and GPT-4 can identify 67% and 87% of their own mistakes, respectively. We refer to this phenomenon as hallucination snowballing: an LM over-commits to early mistakes, leading to more mistakes that it otherwise would not make.
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.
The crystallization of modeling methods around the Transformer architecture has been a boon for practitioners. Simple, well-motivated architectural variations can transfer across tasks and scale, increasing the impact of modeling research. However, with the emergence of state-of-the-art 100B+ parameters models, large language models are increasingly expensive to accurately design and train. Notably, it can be difficult to evaluate how modeling decisions may impact emergent capabilities, given that these capabilities arise mainly from sheer scale alone. In the process of building BLOOM--the Big Science Large Open-science Open-access Multilingual language model--our goal is to identify an architecture and training setup that makes the best use of our 1,000,000 A100-GPU-hours budget. Specifically, we perform an ablation study at the billion-parameter scale comparing different modeling practices and their impact on zero-shot generalization. In addition, we study the impact of various popular pre-training corpora on zero-shot generalization. We also study the performance of a multilingual model and how it compares to the English-only one. Finally, we consider the scaling behaviour of Transformers to choose the target model size, shape, and training setup. All our models and code are open-sourced at https://huggingface.co/bigscience .
We investigate the ability of language models to perform compositional reasoning tasks where the overall solution depends on correctly composing the answers to sub-problems. We measure how often models can correctly answer all sub-problems but not generate the overall solution, a ratio we call the compositionality gap. We evaluate this ratio by asking multi-hop questions with answers that require composing multiple facts unlikely to have been observed together during pretraining. In the GPT-3 family of models, as model size increases we show that the single-hop question answering performance improves faster than the multi-hop performance does, therefore the compositionality gap does not decrease. This surprising result suggests that while more powerful models memorize and recall more factual knowledge, they show no corresponding improvement in their ability to perform this kind of compositional reasoning. We then demonstrate how elicitive prompting (such as chain of thought) narrows the compositionality gap by reasoning explicitly instead of implicitly. We present a new method, self-ask, that further improves on chain of thought. In our method, the model explicitly asks itself (and then answers) follow-up questions before answering the initial question. We finally show that self-ask's structured prompting lets us easily plug in a search engine to answer the follow-up questions, which additionally improves accuracy.
Transformers typically require some form of positional encoding, such as positional embeddings, to process natural language sequences. Surprisingly, we find that transformer language models without any explicit positional encoding are still competitive with standard models, and that this phenomenon is robust across different datasets, model sizes, and sequence lengths. Probing experiments reveal that such models acquire an implicit notion of absolute positions throughout the network, effectively compensating for the missing information. We conjecture that causal attention enables the model to infer the number of predecessors that each token can attend to, thereby approximating its absolute position.
Since the introduction of the transformer model by Vaswani et al. (2017), a fundamental question remains open: how to achieve extrapolation at inference time to longer sequences than seen during training? We first show that extrapolation can be improved by changing the position representation method, though we find that existing proposals do not allow efficient extrapolation. We introduce a simple and efficient method, Attention with Linear Biases (ALiBi), that allows for extrapolation. ALiBi does not add positional embeddings to the word embeddings; instead, it biases the query-key attention scores with a term that is proportional to their distance. We show that this method allows training a 1.3 billion parameter model on input sequences of length 1024 that extrapolates to input sequences of length 2048, achieving the same perplexity as a sinusoidal position embedding model trained on inputs of length 2048, 11% faster and using 11% less memory. ALiBi's inductive bias towards recency allows it to outperform multiple strong position methods on the WikiText-103 benchmark. Finally, we provide analysis of ALiBi to understand why it leads to better performance.
We explore the benefits of decreasing the input length of transformers. First, we show that initially training the model on short subsequences, before moving on to longer ones, both reduces overall training time and, surprisingly, gives a large improvement in perplexity. We then show how to improve the efficiency of recurrence methods in transformers, which let models condition on previously processed tokens (when generating sequences that are larger than the maximal length that the transformer can handle at once). Existing methods require computationally expensive relative position embeddings; we introduce a simple alternative of adding absolute position embeddings to queries and keys instead of to word embeddings, which efficiently produces superior results. By combining these techniques, we increase training speed by 65%, make generation nine times faster, and substantially improve perplexity on WikiText-103, without adding any parameters.
Multilayer transformer networks consist of interleaved self-attention and feedforward sublayers. Could ordering the sublayers in a different pattern achieve better performance? We generate randomly ordered transformers and train them with the language modeling objective. We observe that some of these models are able to achieve better performance than the interleaved baseline, and that those successful variants tend to have more self-attention at the bottom and more feedforward sublayers at the top. We propose a new transformer design pattern that adheres to this property, the sandwich transformer, and show that it improves perplexity on the WikiText-103 language modeling benchmark, at no cost in parameters, memory, or training time.