Multimodal large language models (MLLMs) have demonstrated promising results in a variety of tasks that combine vision and language. As these models become more integral to research and applications, conducting comprehensive evaluations of their capabilities has grown increasingly important. However, most existing benchmarks fail to consider that, in certain situations, images need to be interpreted within a broader context. In this work, we introduce a new benchmark, named as CODIS, designed to assess the ability of models to use context provided in free-form text to enhance visual comprehension. Our findings indicate that MLLMs consistently fall short of human performance on this benchmark. Further analysis confirms that these models struggle to effectively extract and utilize contextual information to improve their understanding of images. This underscores the pressing need to enhance the ability of MLLMs to comprehend visuals in a context-dependent manner. View our project website at https://thunlp-mt.github.io/CODIS.
Reinforcement learning serves as a potent tool for modeling dynamic user interests within recommender systems, garnering increasing research attention of late. However, a significant drawback persists: its poor data efficiency, stemming from its interactive nature. The training of reinforcement learning-based recommender systems demands expensive online interactions to amass adequate trajectories, essential for agents to learn user preferences. This inefficiency renders reinforcement learning-based recommender systems a formidable undertaking, necessitating the exploration of potential solutions. Recent strides in offline reinforcement learning present a new perspective. Offline reinforcement learning empowers agents to glean insights from offline datasets and deploy learned policies in online settings. Given that recommender systems possess extensive offline datasets, the framework of offline reinforcement learning aligns seamlessly. Despite being a burgeoning field, works centered on recommender systems utilizing offline reinforcement learning remain limited. This survey aims to introduce and delve into offline reinforcement learning within recommender systems, offering an inclusive review of existing literature in this domain. Furthermore, we strive to underscore prevalent challenges, opportunities, and future pathways, poised to propel research in this evolving field.
Recommendation models are typically trained on observational user interaction data, but the interactions between latent factors in users' decision-making processes lead to complex and entangled data. Disentangling these latent factors to uncover their underlying representation can improve the robustness, interpretability, and controllability of recommendation models. This paper introduces the Causal Disentangled Variational Auto-Encoder (CaD-VAE), a novel approach for learning causal disentangled representations from interaction data in recommender systems. The CaD-VAE method considers the causal relationships between semantically related factors in real-world recommendation scenarios, rather than enforcing independence as in existing disentanglement methods. The approach utilizes structural causal models to generate causal representations that describe the causal relationship between latent factors. The results demonstrate that CaD-VAE outperforms existing methods, offering a promising solution for disentangling complex user behavior data in recommendation systems.
Reinforcement learning-based recommender systems have recently gained popularity. However, the design of the reward function, on which the agent relies to optimize its recommendation policy, is often not straightforward. Exploring the causality underlying users' behavior can take the place of the reward function in guiding the agent to capture the dynamic interests of users. Moreover, due to the typical limitations of simulation environments (e.g., data inefficiency), most of the work cannot be broadly applied in large-scale situations. Although some works attempt to convert the offline dataset into a simulator, data inefficiency makes the learning process even slower. Because of the nature of reinforcement learning (i.e., learning by interaction), it cannot collect enough data to train during a single interaction. Furthermore, traditional reinforcement learning algorithms do not have a solid capability like supervised learning methods to learn from offline datasets directly. In this paper, we propose a new model named the causal decision transformer for recommender systems (CDT4Rec). CDT4Rec is an offline reinforcement learning system that can learn from a dataset rather than from online interaction. Moreover, CDT4Rec employs the transformer architecture, which is capable of processing large offline datasets and capturing both short-term and long-term dependencies within the data to estimate the causal relationship between action, state, and reward. To demonstrate the feasibility and superiority of our model, we have conducted experiments on six real-world offline datasets and one online simulator.
We present Rhino, a system for accelerating tensor programs with automatic parallelization on AI platform for real production environment. It transforms a tensor program written for a single device into an equivalent distributed program that is capable of scaling up to thousands of devices with no user configuration. Rhino firstly works on a semantically independent intermediate representation of tensor programs, which facilitates its generalization to unprecedented applications. Additionally, it implements a task-oriented controller and a distributed runtime for optimal performance. Rhino explores on a complete and systematic parallelization strategy space that comprises all the paradigms commonly employed in deep learning (DL), in addition to strided partitioning and pipeline parallelism on non-linear models. Aiming to efficiently search for a near-optimal parallel execution plan, our analysis of production clusters reveals general heuristics to speed up the strategy search. On top of it, two optimization levels are designed to offer users flexible trade-offs between the search time and strategy quality. Our experiments demonstrate that Rhino can not only re-discover the expert-crafted strategies of classic, research and production DL models, but also identify novel parallelization strategies which surpass existing systems for novel models.
This paper presents TAG, an automatic system to derive optimized DNN training graph and its deployment onto any device topology, for expedited training in device- and topology- heterogeneous ML clusters. We novelly combine both the DNN computation graph and the device topology graph as input to a graph neural network (GNN), and join the GNN with a search-based method to quickly identify optimized distributed training strategies. To reduce communication in a heterogeneous cluster, we further explore a lossless gradient compression technique and solve a combinatorial optimization problem to automatically apply the technique for training time minimization. We evaluate TAG with various representative DNN models and device topologies, showing that it can achieve up to 4.56x training speed-up as compared to existing schemes. TAG can produce efficient deployment strategies for both unseen DNN models and unseen device topologies, without heavy fine-tuning.
* Accepted by IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems
Deep reinforcement learning (DRL) has been proven its efficiency in capturing users' dynamic interests in recent literature. However, training a DRL agent is challenging, because of the sparse environment in recommender systems (RS), DRL agents could spend times either exploring informative user-item interaction trajectories or using existing trajectories for policy learning. It is also known as the exploration and exploitation trade-off which affects the recommendation performance significantly when the environment is sparse. It is more challenging to balance the exploration and exploitation in DRL RS where RS agent need to deeply explore the informative trajectories and exploit them efficiently in the context of recommender systems. As a step to address this issue, We design a novel intrinsically ,otivated reinforcement learning method to increase the capability of exploring informative interaction trajectories in the sparse environment, which are further enriched via a counterfactual augmentation strategy for more efficient exploitation. The extensive experiments on six offline datasets and three online simulation platforms demonstrate the superiority of our model to a set of existing state-of-the-art methods.
Recent advances in recommender systems have proved the potential of Reinforcement Learning (RL) to handle the dynamic evolution processes between users and recommender systems. However, learning to train an optimal RL agent is generally impractical with commonly sparse user feedback data in the context of recommender systems. To circumvent the lack of interaction of current RL-based recommender systems, we propose to learn a general Model-agnostic Counterfactual Synthesis Policy for counterfactual user interaction data augmentation. The counterfactual synthesis policy aims to synthesise counterfactual states while preserving significant information in the original state relevant to the user's interests, building upon two different training approaches we designed: learning with expert demonstrations and joint training. As a result, the synthesis of each counterfactual data is based on the current recommendation agent interaction with the environment to adapt to users' dynamic interests. We integrate the proposed policy Deep Deterministic Policy Gradient (DDPG), Soft Actor Critic (SAC) and Twin Delayed DDPG in an adaptive pipeline with a recommendation agent that can generate counterfactual data to improve the performance of recommendation. The empirical results on both online simulation and offline datasets demonstrate the effectiveness and generalisation of our counterfactual synthesis policy and verify that it improves the performance of RL recommendation agents.
By applying entropy codecs with learned data distributions, neural compressors have significantly outperformed traditional codecs in terms of compression ratio. However, the high inference latency of neural networks hinders the deployment of neural compressors in practical applications. In this work, we propose Integer-only Discrete Flows (IODF), an efficient neural compressor with integer-only arithmetic. Our work is built upon integer discrete flows, which consists of invertible transformations between discrete random variables. We propose efficient invertible transformations with integer-only arithmetic based on 8-bit quantization. Our invertible transformation is equipped with learnable binary gates to remove redundant filters during inference. We deploy IODF with TensorRT on GPUs, achieving 10x inference speedup compared to the fastest existing neural compressors, while retaining the high compression rates on ImageNet32 and ImageNet64.
* Accepted as a conference paper at International Conference on Machine
Learning (ICML) 2022
Interactive recommendation is able to learn from the interactive processes between users and systems to confront the dynamic interests of users. Recent advances have convinced that the ability of reinforcement learning to handle the dynamic process can be effectively applied in the interactive recommendation. However, the sparsity of interactive data may hamper the performance of the system. We propose to train a Model-agnostic Counterfactual Synthesis Policy to generate counterfactual data and address the data sparsity problem by modelling from observation and counterfactual distribution. The proposed policy can identify and replace the trivial components for any state in the training process with other agents, which can be deployed in any RL-based algorithm. The experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness and generality of our proposed policy.