Get our free extension to see links to code for papers anywhere online!Free add-on: code for papers everywhere!Free add-on: See code for papers anywhere!

Jinqi Luo, Tianjiao Ding, Kwan Ho Ryan Chan, Darshan Thaker, Aditya Chattopadhyay, Chris Callison-Burch, René Vidal

Large Language Models (LLMs) are being used for a wide variety of tasks. While they are capable of generating human-like responses, they can also produce undesirable output including potentially harmful information, racist or sexist language, and hallucinations. Alignment methods are designed to reduce such undesirable output, via techniques such as fine-tuning, prompt engineering, and representation engineering. However, existing methods face several challenges: some require costly fine-tuning for every alignment task; some do not adequately remove undesirable concepts, failing alignment; some remove benign concepts, lowering the linguistic capabilities of LLMs. To address these issues, we propose Parsimonious Concept Engineering (PaCE), a novel activation engineering framework for alignment. First, to sufficiently model the concepts, we construct a large-scale concept dictionary in the activation space, in which each atom corresponds to a semantic concept. Then, given any alignment task, we instruct a concept partitioner to efficiently annotate the concepts as benign or undesirable. Finally, at inference time, we decompose the LLM activations along the concept dictionary via sparse coding, to accurately represent the activation as a linear combination of the benign and undesirable components. By removing the latter ones from the activation, we reorient the behavior of LLMs towards alignment goals. We conduct experiments on tasks such as response detoxification, faithfulness enhancement, and sentiment revising, and show that PaCE achieves state-of-the-art alignment performance while maintaining linguistic capabilities.

Via

The implicit bias of gradient-based training algorithms has been considered mostly beneficial as it leads to trained networks that often generalize well. However, Frei et al. (2023) show that such implicit bias can harm adversarial robustness. Specifically, when the data consists of clusters with small inter-cluster correlation, a shallow (two-layer) ReLU network trained by gradient flow generalizes well, but it is not robust to adversarial attacks of small radius, despite the existence of a much more robust classifier that can be explicitly constructed from a shallow network. In this paper, we extend recent analyses of neuron alignment to show that a shallow network with a polynomial ReLU activation (pReLU) trained by gradient flow not only generalizes well but is also robust to adversarial attacks. Our results highlight the importance of the interplay between data structure and architecture design in the implicit bias and robustness of trained networks.

Via

Recent work in adversarial robustness suggests that natural data distributions are localized, i.e., they place high probability in small volume regions of the input space, and that this property can be utilized for designing classifiers with improved robustness guarantees for $\ell_2$-bounded perturbations. Yet, it is still unclear if this observation holds true for more general metrics. In this work, we extend this theory to $\ell_0$-bounded adversarial perturbations, where the attacker can modify a few pixels of the image but is unrestricted in the magnitude of perturbation, and we show necessary and sufficient conditions for the existence of $\ell_0$-robust classifiers. Theoretical certification approaches in this regime essentially employ voting over a large ensemble of classifiers. Such procedures are combinatorial and expensive or require complicated certification techniques. In contrast, a simple classifier emerges from our theory, dubbed Box-NN, which naturally incorporates the geometry of the problem and improves upon the current state-of-the-art in certified robustness against sparse attacks for the MNIST and Fashion-MNIST datasets.

Via

Given an input set of $3$D point pairs, the goal of outlier-robust $3$D registration is to compute some rotation and translation that align as many point pairs as possible. This is an important problem in computer vision, for which many highly accurate approaches have been recently proposed. Despite their impressive performance, these approaches lack scalability, often overflowing the $16$GB of memory of a standard laptop to handle roughly $30,000$ point pairs. In this paper, we propose a $3$D registration approach that can process more than ten million ($10^7$) point pairs with over $99\%$ random outliers. Moreover, our method is efficient, entails low memory costs, and maintains high accuracy at the same time. We call our method TEAR, as it involves minimizing an outlier-robust loss that computes Truncated Entry-wise Absolute Residuals. To minimize this loss, we decompose the original $6$-dimensional problem into two subproblems of dimensions $3$ and $2$, respectively, solved in succession to global optimality via a customized branch-and-bound method. While branch-and-bound is often slow and unscalable, this does not apply to TEAR as we propose novel bounding functions that are tight and computationally efficient. Experiments on various datasets are conducted to validate the scalability and efficiency of our method.

Via

Yashar Deldjoo, Zhankui He, Julian McAuley, Anton Korikov, Scott Sanner, Arnau Ramisa, René Vidal, Maheswaran Sathiamoorthy, Atoosa Kasirzadeh, Silvia Milano

Traditional recommender systems (RS) have used user-item rating histories as their primary data source, with collaborative filtering being one of the principal methods. However, generative models have recently developed abilities to model and sample from complex data distributions, including not only user-item interaction histories but also text, images, and videos - unlocking this rich data for novel recommendation tasks. Through this comprehensive and multi-disciplinary survey, we aim to connect the key advancements in RS using Generative Models (Gen-RecSys), encompassing: a foundational overview of interaction-driven generative models; the application of large language models (LLM) for generative recommendation, retrieval, and conversational recommendation; and the integration of multimodal models for processing and generating image and video content in RS. Our holistic perspective allows us to highlight necessary paradigms for evaluating the impact and harm of Gen-RecSys and identify open challenges. A more up-to-date version of the papers is maintained at: https://github.com/yasdel/LLM-RecSys.

Via

The Stochastic Extragradient (SEG) method is one of the most popular algorithms for solving finite-sum min-max optimization and variational inequality problems (VIPs) appearing in various machine learning tasks. However, existing convergence analyses of SEG focus on its with-replacement variants, while practical implementations of the method randomly reshuffle components and sequentially use them. Unlike the well-studied with-replacement variants, SEG with Random Reshuffling (SEG-RR) lacks established theoretical guarantees. In this work, we provide a convergence analysis of SEG-RR for three classes of VIPs: (i) strongly monotone, (ii) affine, and (iii) monotone. We derive conditions under which SEG-RR achieves a faster convergence rate than the uniform with-replacement sampling SEG. In the monotone setting, our analysis of SEG-RR guarantees convergence to an arbitrary accuracy without large batch sizes, a strong requirement needed in the classical with-replacement SEG. As a byproduct of our results, we provide convergence guarantees for Shuffle Once SEG (shuffles the data only at the beginning of the algorithm) and the Incremental Extragradient (does not shuffle the data). We supplement our analysis with experiments validating empirically the superior performance of SEG-RR over the classical with-replacement sampling SEG.

Via

Hallucinations and unfaithful synthesis due to inaccurate prompts with insufficient semantic details are widely observed in multimodal generative models. A prevalent strategy to align multiple modalities is to fine-tune the generator with a large number of annotated text-image pairs. However, such a procedure is labor-consuming and resource-draining. The key question we ask is: can we enhance the quality and faithfulness of text-driven generative models beyond extensive text-image pair annotations? To address this question, we propose Knowledge Pursuit Prompting (KPP), a zero-shot framework that iteratively incorporates external knowledge to help generators produce reliable visual content. Instead of training generators to handle generic prompts, KPP employs a recursive knowledge query process to gather informative external facts from the knowledge base, instructs a language model to compress the acquired knowledge for prompt refinement, and utilizes text-driven generators for visual synthesis. The entire process is zero-shot, without accessing the architectures and parameters of generative models. We evaluate the framework across multiple text-driven generative tasks (image, 3D rendering, and video) on datasets of different domains. We further demonstrate the extensibility and adaptability of KPP through varying foundation model bases and instructions. Our results show that KPP is capable of generating faithful and semantically rich content across diverse visual domains, offering a promising solution to improve multimodal generative models.

Via

The susceptibility of modern machine learning classifiers to adversarial examples has motivated theoretical results suggesting that these might be unavoidable. However, these results can be too general to be applicable to natural data distributions. Indeed, humans are quite robust for tasks involving vision. This apparent conflict motivates a deeper dive into the question: Are adversarial examples truly unavoidable? In this work, we theoretically demonstrate that a key property of the data distribution -- concentration on small-volume subsets of the input space -- determines whether a robust classifier exists. We further demonstrate that, for a data distribution concentrated on a union of low-dimensional linear subspaces, exploiting data structure naturally leads to classifiers that enjoy good robustness guarantees, improving upon methods for provable certification in certain regimes.

Via

This paper studies the problem of training a two-layer ReLU network for binary classification using gradient flow with small initialization. We consider a training dataset with well-separated input vectors: Any pair of input data with the same label are positively correlated, and any pair with different labels are negatively correlated. Our analysis shows that, during the early phase of training, neurons in the first layer try to align with either the positive data or the negative data, depending on its corresponding weight on the second layer. A careful analysis of the neurons' directional dynamics allows us to provide an $\mathcal{O}(\frac{\log n}{\sqrt{\mu}})$ upper bound on the time it takes for all neurons to achieve good alignment with the input data, where $n$ is the number of data points and $\mu$ measures how well the data are separated. After the early alignment phase, the loss converges to zero at a $\mathcal{O}(\frac{1}{t})$ rate, and the weight matrix on the first layer is approximately low-rank. Numerical experiments on the MNIST dataset illustrate our theoretical findings.

Via

The advent of large pre-trained models has brought about a paradigm shift in both visual representation learning and natural language processing. However, clustering unlabeled images, as a fundamental and classic machine learning problem, still lacks effective solution, particularly for large-scale datasets. In this paper, we propose a novel image clustering pipeline that leverages the powerful feature representation of large pre-trained models such as CLIP and cluster images effectively and efficiently at scale. We show that the pre-trained features are significantly more structured by further optimizing the rate reduction objective. The resulting features may significantly improve the clustering accuracy, e.g., from 57\% to 66\% on ImageNet-1k. Furthermore, by leveraging CLIP's image-text binding, we show how the new clustering method leads to a simple yet effective self-labeling algorithm that successfully works on unlabeled large datasets such as MS-COCO and LAION-Aesthetics. We will release the code in https://github.com/LeslieTrue/CPP.

Via