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Ankush Garg

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    Preview abstract Automatic evaluation of machine translation (MT) is a critical tool driving the rapid iterative development of MT systems. While considerable progress has been made on direct estimation of quality scores, the resulting metrics lack the informativeness of more detailed schemes that annotate individual errors, such as Multidimensional Quality Metrics (MQM). In this paper, we fill this gap by proposing \textbf{\textsc{AutoMQM}}, a prompting technique which leverages the \textit{reasoning} and \textit{in-context learning} capabilities of large language models (LLMs) and asks them to identify and categorize errors in translations. We start by evaluating recent LLMs, such as PaLM and PaLM-2, through simple \textit{score prediction} prompting, and we study the impact of labeled data through in-context learning and finetuning. We then evaluate \textsc{AutoMQM} with PaLM-2 models, and we find that it improves performance compared to just prompting for scores (with particularly large gains for larger models) while providing interpretability through error spans that align with human annotations. View details
    Preview abstract In this work, we study the evolution of the loss Hessian across many classification tasks in order to understand the effect the curvature of the loss has on the training dynamics. Whereas prior work has focused on how different learning rates affect the loss Hessian observed during training, we also analyze the effects of model initialization, architectural choices, and common training heuristics such as gradient clipping and learning rate warmup. Our results demonstrate that successful model and hyperparameter choices allow the early optimization trajectory to either avoid---or navigate out of---regions of high curvature and into flatter regions that tolerate a higher learning rate. Our results suggest a unifying perspective on how disparate mitigation strategies for training instability ultimately address the same underlying failure mode of neural network optimization, namely poor conditioning. Inspired by the conditioning perspective, we show that learning rate warmup can improve training stability just as much as batch normalization, layer normalization, MetaInit, GradInit, and Fixup initialization. View details
    Preview abstract Federated learning is used for decentralized training of machine learning models on millions of edge mobile devices. This is challenging because these devices often have limited communication bandwidth, and local computation resources. We exploit partially trainable neural networks, which freeze a portion of the model parameters during the entire training process, to reduce the communication cost with little implications on model performance. Through extensive experiments, we empirically show that Federated learning of Partially Trainable neural networks (FedPT) can result in good communication-accuracy trade-offs, with up to $46\times$ reduction in communication cost, at a small accuracy cost. The proposed FedPT can be particularly interesting for pushing the limitations of overparameterization for on-device learning. View details
    Preview abstract We present neural machine translation (NMT) models inspired by echo state network (ESN), named Echo State NMT (ESNMT), in which the encoder and decoder layer weights are randomly generated then fixed throughout training. We show that even with this extremely simple model construction and training procedure, ESNMT can already reach 70-80\% performance of fully trainable baselines. We examine how spectral radius of the reservoir, a key quantity that characterizes the model, determines the model behavior. Our findings indicate that randomized networks can work well even for complicated sequence-to-sequence prediction NLP tasks. View details
    The geometry of integration in text classification RNNs
    Kyle Aitken
    Yuan Cao
    David Sussillo
    Niru Maheswaranathan
    ICLR (2020)
    Preview abstract Despite the widespread application of recurrent neural networks (RNNs) across a variety of tasks, a unified understanding of how RNNs solve these tasks remains elusive. In particular, it is unclear what dynamical patterns arise in trained RNNs, and how those patterns depend on the training dataset or task. This work addresses these questions in the context of a specific natural language processing task: text classification. Using tools from dynamical systems analysis, we study recurrent networks trained on a battery of both natural and synthetic text classification tasks. We find the dynamics of these trained RNNs to be both interpretable and low-dimensional. Specifically, across architectures and datasets, RNNs accumulate evidence for each class as they process the text, using a low-dimensional attractor manifold as the underlying mechanism. Moreover, the dimensionality and geometry of the attractor manifold are determined by the structure of the training dataset; in particular, we describe how simple word-count statistics computed on the training dataset can be used to predict these properties. Our observations span multiple architectures and datasets, reflecting a common mechanism RNNs employ to perform text classification. To the degree that integration of evidence towards a decision is a common computational primitive, this work lays the foundation for using dynamical systems techniques to study the inner workings of RNNs. View details
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