Language models (LMs) can solve tasks such as answering questions about tables or images by writing programs. However, using primitive functions often leads to verbose and error-prone programs, and higher-level functions require expert design. To enable better solutions without human labor, we ask code LMs to curate reusable high-level functions, and use them to write solutions. We present TROVE, a training-free method of inducing a verifiable and efficient toolbox of functions, by generating via using, growing, and periodically trimming the toolbox. On 11 datasets from math, table question answering, and image reasoning tasks, TROVE consistently yields simpler solutions with higher accuracy than baselines using CODELLAMA and previous methods using GPT, while using 79-98% smaller toolboxes. TROVE further enables 31% faster and 13% more accurate human verification than baselines. With the same pipeline, it creates diverse functions for varied tasks and datasets, providing insights into their individual characteristics.
On-the-fly retrieval of relevant knowledge has proven an essential element of reliable systems for tasks such as open-domain question answering and fact verification. However, because retrieval systems are not perfect, generation models are required to generate outputs given partially or entirely irrelevant passages. This can cause over- or under-reliance on context, and result in problems in the generated output such as hallucinations. To alleviate these problems, we propose FILCO, a method that improves the quality of the context provided to the generator by (1) identifying useful context based on lexical and information-theoretic approaches, and (2) training context filtering models that can filter retrieved contexts at test time. We experiment on six knowledge-intensive tasks with FLAN-T5 and LLaMa2, and demonstrate that our method outperforms existing approaches on extractive question answering (QA), complex multi-hop and long-form QA, fact verification, and dialog generation tasks. FILCO effectively improves the quality of context, whether or not it supports the canonical output.
A persistent challenge to table question answering (TableQA) by generating executable programs has been adapting to varied table structures, typically requiring domain-specific logical forms. In response, this paper introduces a unified TableQA framework that: (1) provides a unified representation for structured tables as multi-index Pandas data frames, (2) uses Python as a powerful querying language, and (3) uses few-shot prompting to translate NL questions into Python programs, which are executable on Pandas data frames. Furthermore, to answer complex relational questions with extended program functionality and external knowledge, our framework allows customized APIs that Python programs can call. We experiment with four TableQA datasets that involve tables of different structures -- relational, multi-table, and hierarchical matrix shapes -- and achieve prominent improvements over past state-of-the-art systems. In ablation studies, we (1) show benefits from our multi-index representation and APIs over baselines that use only an LLM, and (2) demonstrate that our approach is modular and can incorporate additional APIs.
Modern abstractive summarization models often generate summaries that contain hallucinated or contradictory information. In this paper, we propose a simple but effective contrastive learning framework that incorporates recent developments in reward learning and factuality metrics. Empirical studies demonstrate that the proposed framework enables summarization models to learn from feedback of factuality metrics using contrastive reward learning, leading to more factual summaries by human evaluations. This suggests that further advances in learning and evaluation algorithms can feed directly into providing more factual summaries.
In this work, we introduce Semantic Pyramid AutoEncoder (SPAE) for enabling frozen LLMs to perform both understanding and generation tasks involving non-linguistic modalities such as images or videos. SPAE converts between raw pixels and interpretable lexical tokens (or words) extracted from the LLM's vocabulary. The resulting tokens capture both the semantic meaning and the fine-grained details needed for visual reconstruction, effectively translating the visual content into a language comprehensible to the LLM, and empowering it to perform a wide array of multimodal tasks. Our approach is validated through in-context learning experiments with frozen PaLM 2 and GPT 3.5 on a diverse set of image understanding and generation tasks. Our method marks the first successful attempt to enable a frozen LLM to generate image content while surpassing state-of-the-art performance in image understanding tasks, under the same setting, by over 25%.
The BigCode community, an open-scientific collaboration working on the responsible development of Large Language Models for Code (Code LLMs), introduces StarCoder and StarCoderBase: 15.5B parameter models with 8K context length, infilling capabilities and fast large-batch inference enabled by multi-query attention. StarCoderBase is trained on 1 trillion tokens sourced from The Stack, a large collection of permissively licensed GitHub repositories with inspection tools and an opt-out process. We fine-tuned StarCoderBase on 35B Python tokens, resulting in the creation of StarCoder. We perform the most comprehensive evaluation of Code LLMs to date and show that StarCoderBase outperforms every open Code LLM that supports multiple programming languages and matches or outperforms the OpenAI code-cushman-001 model. Furthermore, StarCoder outperforms every model that is fine-tuned on Python, can be prompted to achieve 40\% pass@1 on HumanEval, and still retains its performance on other programming languages. We take several important steps towards a safe open-access model release, including an improved PII redaction pipeline and a novel attribution tracing tool, and make the StarCoder models publicly available under a more commercially viable version of the Open Responsible AI Model license.
To extend the scope of coding queries to more realistic settings, we propose ODEX, the first open-domain execution-based natural language (NL) to code generation dataset. ODEX has 945 NL-Code pairs spanning 79 diverse libraries, along with 1,707 human-written test cases for execution. Our NL-Code pairs are harvested from StackOverflow forums to encourage natural and practical coding queries, which are then carefully rephrased to ensure intent clarity and prevent potential data memorization. Moreover, ODEX supports four natural languages as intents, in English, Spanish, Japanese, and Russian. ODEX unveils intriguing behavioral differences between top-performing Code LMs: Codex performs better on open-domain queries, yet CodeGen captures a better balance between open- and closed-domain. ODEX corroborates the merits of execution-based evaluation over metrics without execution but also unveils their complementary effects. Powerful models such as CodeGen-6B only achieve an 11.96 pass rate at top-1 prediction, suggesting plenty of headroom for improvement. We release ODEX to facilitate research into open-domain problems for the code generation community.
Systems for knowledge-intensive tasks such as open-domain question answering (QA) usually consist of two stages: efficient retrieval of relevant documents from a large corpus and detailed reading of the selected documents to generate answers. Retrievers and readers are usually modeled separately, which necessitates a cumbersome implementation and is hard to train and adapt in an end-to-end fashion. In this paper, we revisit this design and eschew the separate architecture and training in favor of a single Transformer that performs Retrieval as Attention (ReAtt), and end-to-end training solely based on supervision from the end QA task. We demonstrate for the first time that a single model trained end-to-end can achieve both competitive retrieval and QA performance, matching or slightly outperforming state-of-the-art separately trained retrievers and readers. Moreover, end-to-end adaptation significantly boosts its performance on out-of-domain datasets in both supervised and unsupervised settings, making our model a simple and adaptable solution for knowledge-intensive tasks. Code and models are available at https://github.com/jzbjyb/ReAtt.
Tables are an important form of structured data for both human and machine readers alike, providing answers to questions that cannot, or cannot easily, be found in texts. Recent work has designed special models and training paradigms for table-related tasks such as table-based question answering and table retrieval. Though effective, they add complexity in both modeling and data acquisition compared to generic text solutions and obscure which elements are truly beneficial. In this work, we focus on the task of table retrieval, and ask: "is table-specific model design necessary for table retrieval, or can a simpler text-based model be effectively used to achieve a similar result?" First, we perform an analysis on a table-based portion of the Natural Questions dataset (NQ-table), and find that structure plays a negligible role in more than 70% of the cases. Based on this, we experiment with a general Dense Passage Retriever (DPR) based on text and a specialized Dense Table Retriever (DTR) that uses table-specific model designs. We find that DPR performs well without any table-specific design and training, and even achieves superior results compared to DTR when fine-tuned on properly linearized tables. We then experiment with three modules to explicitly encode table structures, namely auxiliary row/column embeddings, hard attention masks, and soft relation-based attention biases. However, none of these yielded significant improvements, suggesting that table-specific model design may not be necessary for table retrieval.
While there has been a recent burgeoning of applications at the intersection of natural and programming languages, such as code generation and code summarization, these applications are usually English-centric. This creates a barrier for program developers who are not proficient in English. To mitigate this gap in technology development across languages, we propose a multilingual dataset, MCoNaLa, to benchmark code generation from natural language commands extending beyond English. Modeled off of the methodology from the English Code/Natural Language Challenge (CoNaLa) dataset, we annotated a total of 896 NL-code pairs in three languages: Spanish, Japanese, and Russian. We present a quantitative evaluation of performance on the MCoNaLa dataset by testing with state-of-the-art code generation systems. While the difficulties vary across these three languages, all systems lag significantly behind their English counterparts, revealing the challenges in adapting code generation to new languages.