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Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG) improves pre-trained models by incorporating external knowledge at test time to enable customized adaptation. We study the risk of datastore leakage in Retrieval-In-Context RAG Language Models (LMs). We show that an adversary can exploit LMs' instruction-following capabilities to easily extract text data verbatim from the datastore of RAG systems built with instruction-tuned LMs via prompt injection. The vulnerability exists for a wide range of modern LMs that span Llama2, Mistral/Mixtral, Vicuna, SOLAR, WizardLM, Qwen1.5, and Platypus2, and the exploitability exacerbates as the model size scales up. Extending our study to production RAG models GPTs, we design an attack that can cause datastore leakage with a 100% success rate on 25 randomly selected customized GPTs with at most 2 queries, and we extract text data verbatim at a rate of 41% from a book of 77,000 words and 3% from a corpus of 1,569,000 words by prompting the GPTs with only 100 queries generated by themselves.

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We present an approach called Q-probing to adapt a pre-trained language model to maximize a task-specific reward function. At a high level, Q-probing sits between heavier approaches such as finetuning and lighter approaches such as few shot prompting, but can also be combined with either. The idea is to learn a simple linear function on a model's embedding space that can be used to reweight candidate completions. We theoretically show that this sampling procedure is equivalent to a KL-constrained maximization of the Q-probe as the number of samples increases. To train the Q-probes we consider either reward modeling or a class of novel direct policy learning objectives based on importance weighted policy gradients. With this technique, we see gains in domains with ground-truth rewards (code generation) as well as implicit rewards defined by preference data, even outperforming finetuning in data-limited regimes. Moreover, a Q-probe can be trained on top of an API since it only assumes access to sampling and embeddings. Code: https://github.com/likenneth/q_probe .

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Hanlin Zhang, Yi-Fan Zhang, Yaodong Yu, Dhruv Madeka, Dean Foster, Eric Xing, Hima Lakkaraju, Sham Kakade

Modern auto-regressive language models are trained to minimize log loss on broad data by predicting the next token so they are expected to get calibrated answers in next-token prediction tasks. We study this for in-context learning (ICL), a widely used way to adapt frozen large language models (LLMs) via crafting prompts, and investigate the trade-offs between performance and calibration on a wide range of natural language understanding and reasoning tasks. We conduct extensive experiments to show that such trade-offs may get worse as we increase model size, incorporate more ICL examples, and fine-tune models using instruction, dialog, or reinforcement learning from human feedback (RLHF) on carefully curated datasets. Furthermore, we find that common recalibration techniques that are widely effective such as temperature scaling provide limited gains in calibration errors, suggesting that new methods may be required for settings where models are expected to be reliable.

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Understanding the internal representations learned by neural networks is a cornerstone challenge in the science of machine learning. While there have been significant recent strides in some cases towards understanding how neural networks implement specific target functions, this paper explores a complementary question -- why do networks arrive at particular computational strategies? Our inquiry focuses on the algebraic learning tasks of modular addition, sparse parities, and finite group operations. Our primary theoretical findings analytically characterize the features learned by stylized neural networks for these algebraic tasks. Notably, our main technique demonstrates how the principle of margin maximization alone can be used to fully specify the features learned by the network. Specifically, we prove that the trained networks utilize Fourier features to perform modular addition and employ features corresponding to irreducible group-theoretic representations to perform compositions in general groups, aligning closely with the empirical observations of Nanda et al. and Chughtai et al. More generally, we hope our techniques can help to foster a deeper understanding of why neural networks adopt specific computational strategies.

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In this paper we address the problem of learning and backtesting inventory control policies in the presence of general arrival dynamics -- which we term as a quantity-over-time arrivals model (QOT). We also allow for order quantities to be modified as a post-processing step to meet vendor constraints such as order minimum and batch size constraints -- a common practice in real supply chains. To the best of our knowledge this is the first work to handle either arbitrary arrival dynamics or an arbitrary downstream post-processing of order quantities. Building upon recent work (Madeka et al., 2022) we similarly formulate the periodic review inventory control problem as an exogenous decision process, where most of the state is outside the control of the agent. Madeka et al. (2022) show how to construct a simulator that replays historic data to solve this class of problem. In our case, we incorporate a deep generative model for the arrivals process as part of the history replay. By formulating the problem as an exogenous decision process, we can apply results from Madeka et al. (2022) to obtain a reduction to supervised learning. Finally, we show via simulation studies that this approach yields statistically significant improvements in profitability over production baselines. Using data from an ongoing real-world A/B test, we show that Gen-QOT generalizes well to off-policy data.

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Devvrit, Sneha Kudugunta, Aditya Kusupati, Tim Dettmers, Kaifeng Chen, Inderjit Dhillon, Yulia Tsvetkov, Hannaneh Hajishirzi, Sham Kakade, Ali Farhadi, Prateek Jain

Transformer models are deployed in a wide range of settings, from multi-accelerator clusters to standalone mobile phones. The diverse inference constraints in these scenarios necessitate practitioners to train foundation models such as PaLM 2, Llama, & ViTs as a series of models of varying sizes. Due to significant training costs, only a select few model sizes are trained and supported, limiting more fine-grained control over relevant tradeoffs, including latency, cost, and accuracy. This work introduces MatFormer, a nested Transformer architecture designed to offer elasticity in a variety of deployment constraints. Each Feed Forward Network (FFN) block of a MatFormer model is jointly optimized with a few nested smaller FFN blocks. This training procedure allows for the Mix'n'Match of model granularities across layers -- i.e., a trained universal MatFormer model enables extraction of hundreds of accurate smaller models, which were never explicitly optimized. We empirically demonstrate MatFormer's effectiveness across different model classes (decoders & encoders), modalities (language & vision), and scales (up to 2.6B parameters). We find that a 2.6B decoder-only MatFormer language model (MatLM) allows us to extract smaller models spanning from 1.5B to 2.6B, each exhibiting comparable validation loss and one-shot downstream evaluations to their independently trained counterparts. Furthermore, we observe that smaller encoders extracted from a universal MatFormer-based ViT (MatViT) encoder preserve the metric-space structure for adaptive large-scale retrieval. Finally, we showcase that speculative decoding with the accurate and consistent submodels extracted from MatFormer can further reduce inference latency.

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This work investigates the nuanced algorithm design choices for deep learning in the presence of computational-statistical gaps. We begin by considering offline sparse parity learning, a supervised classification problem which admits a statistical query lower bound for gradient-based training of a multilayer perceptron. This lower bound can be interpreted as a multi-resource tradeoff frontier: successful learning can only occur if one is sufficiently rich (large model), knowledgeable (large dataset), patient (many training iterations), or lucky (many random guesses). We show, theoretically and experimentally, that sparse initialization and increasing network width yield significant improvements in sample efficiency in this setting. Here, width plays the role of parallel search: it amplifies the probability of finding "lottery ticket" neurons, which learn sparse features more sample-efficiently. Finally, we show that the synthetic sparse parity task can be useful as a proxy for real problems requiring axis-aligned feature learning. We demonstrate improved sample efficiency on tabular classification benchmarks by using wide, sparsely-initialized MLP models; these networks sometimes outperform tuned random forests.

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Imitation Learning (IL) is one of the most widely used methods in machine learning. Yet, while powerful, many works find it is often not able to fully recover the underlying expert behavior. However, none of these works deeply investigate the role of scaling up the model and data size. Inspired by recent work in Natural Language Processing (NLP) where "scaling up" has resulted in increasingly more capable LLMs, we investigate whether carefully scaling up model and data size can bring similar improvements in the imitation learning setting. To demonstrate our findings, we focus on the game of NetHack, a challenging environment featuring procedural generation, stochasticity, long-term dependencies, and partial observability. We find IL loss and mean return scale smoothly with the compute budget and are strongly correlated, resulting in power laws for training compute-optimal IL agents with respect to model size and number of samples. We forecast and train several NetHack agents with IL and find they outperform prior state-of-the-art by at least 2x in all settings. Our work both demonstrates the scaling behavior of imitation learning in a challenging domain, as well as the viability of scaling up current approaches for increasingly capable agents in NetHack, a game that remains elusively hard for current AI systems.

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The success of SGD in deep learning has been ascribed by prior works to the implicit bias induced by high learning rate or small batch size ("SGD noise"). While prior works that focused on offline learning (i.e., multiple-epoch training), we study the impact of SGD noise on online (i.e., single epoch) learning. Through an extensive empirical analysis of image and language data, we demonstrate that large learning rate and small batch size do not confer any implicit bias advantages in online learning. In contrast to offline learning, the benefits of SGD noise in online learning are strictly computational, facilitating larger or more cost-effective gradient steps. Our work suggests that SGD in the online regime can be construed as taking noisy steps along the "golden path" of the noiseless gradient flow algorithm. We provide evidence to support this hypothesis by conducting experiments that reduce SGD noise during training and by measuring the pointwise functional distance between models trained with varying SGD noise levels, but at equivalent loss values. Our findings challenge the prevailing understanding of SGD and offer novel insights into its role in online learning.

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Aniket Rege, Aditya Kusupati, Sharan Ranjit S, Alan Fan, Qingqing Cao, Sham Kakade, Prateek Jain, Ali Farhadi

Web-scale search systems learn an encoder to embed a given query which is then hooked into an approximate nearest neighbor search (ANNS) pipeline to retrieve similar data points. To accurately capture tail queries and data points, learned representations typically are rigid, high-dimensional vectors that are generally used as-is in the entire ANNS pipeline and can lead to computationally expensive retrieval. In this paper, we argue that instead of rigid representations, different stages of ANNS can leverage adaptive representations of varying capacities to achieve significantly better accuracy-compute trade-offs, i.e., stages of ANNS that can get away with more approximate computation should use a lower-capacity representation of the same data point. To this end, we introduce AdANNS, a novel ANNS design framework that explicitly leverages the flexibility of Matryoshka Representations. We demonstrate state-of-the-art accuracy-compute trade-offs using novel AdANNS-based key ANNS building blocks like search data structures (AdANNS-IVF) and quantization (AdANNS-OPQ). For example on ImageNet retrieval, AdANNS-IVF is up to 1.5% more accurate than the rigid representations-based IVF at the same compute budget; and matches accuracy while being up to 90x faster in wall-clock time. For Natural Questions, 32-byte AdANNS-OPQ matches the accuracy of the 64-byte OPQ baseline constructed using rigid representations -- same accuracy at half the cost! We further show that the gains from AdANNS translate to modern-day composite ANNS indices that combine search structures and quantization. Finally, we demonstrate that AdANNS can enable inference-time adaptivity for compute-aware search on ANNS indices built non-adaptively on matryoshka representations. Code is open-sourced at https://github.com/RAIVNLab/AdANNS.

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