Augmenting pretrained language models (LMs) with a vision encoder (e.g., Flamingo) has obtained state-of-the-art results in image-to-text generation. However, these models store all the knowledge within their parameters, thus often requiring enormous model parameters to model the abundant visual concepts and very rich textual descriptions. Additionally, they are inefficient in incorporating new data, requiring a computational-expensive fine-tuning process. In this work, we introduce a Retrieval-augmented Visual Language Model, Re-ViLM, built upon the Flamingo, that supports retrieving the relevant knowledge from the external database for zero and in-context few-shot image-to-text generations. By storing certain knowledge explicitly in the external database, our approach reduces the number of model parameters and can easily accommodate new data during evaluation by simply updating the database. We also construct an interleaved image and text data that facilitates in-context few-shot learning capabilities. We demonstrate that Re-ViLM significantly boosts performance for image-to-text generation tasks, especially for zero-shot and few-shot generation in out-of-domain settings with 4 times less parameters compared with baseline methods.
Training large transformer models is one of the most important computational challenges of modern AI. In this paper, we show how to significantly accelerate training of large transformer models by reducing activation recomputation. Activation recomputation is commonly used to work around memory capacity constraints. Rather than storing activations for backpropagation, they are traditionally recomputed, which saves memory but adds redundant compute. In this work, we show most of this redundant compute is unnecessary because we can reduce memory consumption sufficiently without it. We present two novel yet very simple techniques: sequence parallelism and selective activation recomputation. In conjunction with tensor parallelism, these techniques almost eliminate the need to recompute activations. We evaluate our approach on language models up to one trillion parameters in scale and show that our method reduces activation memory by 5x, while reducing execution time overhead from activation recomputation by over 90%. For example, when training a 530B parameter GPT-3 style model on 2240 NVIDIA A100 GPUs, we achieve a Model Flops Utilization of 54.2%, which is 29% faster than the 42.1% we achieve using recomputation. Our implementation will be available in both Megatron-LM and NeMo-Megatron.
Pretrained general-purpose language models can achieve state-of-the-art accuracies in various natural language processing domains by adapting to downstream tasks via zero-shot, few-shot and fine-tuning techniques. Because of their success, the size of these models has increased rapidly, requiring high-performance hardware, software, and algorithmic techniques to enable training such large models. As the result of a joint effort between Microsoft and NVIDIA, we present details on the training of the largest monolithic transformer based language model, Megatron-Turing NLG 530B (MT-NLG), with 530 billion parameters. In this paper, we first focus on the infrastructure as well as the 3D parallelism methodology used to train this model using DeepSpeed and Megatron. Next, we detail the training process, the design of our training corpus, and our data curation techniques, which we believe is a key ingredient to the success of the model. Finally, we discuss various evaluation results, as well as other interesting observations and new properties exhibited by MT-NLG. We demonstrate that MT-NLG achieves superior zero-, one-, and few-shot learning accuracies on several NLP benchmarks and establishes new state-of-the-art results. We believe that our contributions will help further the development of large-scale training infrastructures, large-scale language models, and natural language generations.
Large language models have led to state-of-the-art accuracies across a range of tasks. However, training these large models efficiently is challenging for two reasons: a) GPU memory capacity is limited, making it impossible to fit large models on a single GPU or even on a multi-GPU server; and b) the number of compute operations required to train these models can result in unrealistically long training times. New methods of model parallelism such as tensor and pipeline parallelism have been proposed to address these challenges; unfortunately, naive usage leads to fundamental scaling issues at thousands of GPUs due to various reasons, e.g., expensive cross-node communication or idle periods waiting on other devices. In this work, we show how to compose different types of parallelism methods (tensor, pipeline, and data paralleism) to scale to thousands of GPUs, achieving a two-order-of-magnitude increase in the sizes of models we can efficiently train compared to existing systems. We discuss various implementations of pipeline parallelism and propose a novel schedule that can improve throughput by more than 10% with comparable memory footprint compared to previously-proposed approaches. We quantitatively study the trade-offs between tensor, pipeline, and data parallelism, and provide intuition as to how to configure distributed training of a large model. The composition of these techniques allows us to perform training iterations on a model with 1 trillion parameters at 502 petaFLOP/s on 3072 GPUs with achieved per-GPU throughput of 52% of peak; previous efforts to train similar-sized models achieve much lower throughput (36% of theoretical peak). Our code has been open-sourced at https://github.com/nvidia/megatron-lm.