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Jai Gupta

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    Preview abstract Recently proposed long-form question answering (QA) systems, supported by large language models (LLMs), have shown promising capabilities. Yet, attributing and verifying their generated abstractive answers can be difficult, and automatically evaluating their accuracy remains an ongoing challenge. In this paper, we introduce a new QA task for answering multi-answer questions by summarizing multiple diverse sources in a semi-extractive fashion. Specifically, Semi-extractive Multi-source QA (SEMQA) requires models to output a comprehensive answer while mixing between factual quoted spans---copied verbatim from given input sources---and non-factual free-text connectors that glue these spans together into a single cohesive passage. This setting bridges the gap between the outputs of well-grounded but constrained extractive QA systems and more fluent but harder to attribute fully abstractive answers. Particularly, it enables a new mode for language models that leverages their advanced language generation capabilities, while also producing fine in-line attributions by-design that are easy to verify, interpret, and evaluate. To study this task, we create the first dataset of this kind with human-written semi-extractive answers to natural and generated questions, and define text-based evaluation metrics. Experimenting with several LLMs in various settings, we find this task to be surprisingly challenging, demonstrating the importance of our work for developing and studying such consolidation capabilities. View details
    DSI++: Updating Transformer Memory with New Documents
    Yi Tay
    Jinfeng Rao
    Emma Strubell
    Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing
    Preview abstract Differentiable Search Indices (DSIs) encode a corpus of documents in model parameters and use the same model to answer user queries directly. Despite the strong performance of DSI models, deploying them in situations where the corpus changes over time is computationally expensive because reindexing the corpus requires re-training the model. In this work, we introduce DSI++, a continual learning challenge for DSI to incrementally index new documents while being able to answer queries related to both previously and newly indexed documents. Across different model scales and document identifier representations, we show that continual indexing of new documents leads to considerable forgetting of previously indexed documents. We also hypothesize and verify that the model experiences forgetting events during training, leading to unstable learning. To mitigate these issues, we investigate two approaches. The first focuses on modifying the training dynamics. Flatter minima implicitly alleviate forgetting, so we optimize for flatter loss basins and show that the model stably memorizes more documents (+12%). Next, we introduce a generative memory to sample pseudo-queries for documents and supplement them during continual indexing to prevent forgetting for the retrieval task. Extensive experiments on novel continual indexing benchmarks based on Natural Questions (NQ) and MS MARCO demonstrate that our proposed solution mitigates forgetting significantly. Concretely, it improves the average Hits@10 by +21.1% over competitive baselines for NQ and requires 6 times fewer model updates compared to re-training the DSI model for incrementally indexing five corpora in a sequence. View details
    Preview abstract Popularized by the Differentiable Search Index, the emerging paradigm of Generative Retrieval re-frames the classic information retrieval problem into a sequence-to-sequence modeling task, forgoing external indices and encoding an entire document corpus into the parameters of a single transformer. Although many different approaches have been proposed to improve the effectiveness of generative retrieval, they have only been evaluated on document corpora on the order of 100k in size. We conduct the first study of generative retrieval techniques across various corpus scales, ultimately scaling up to the entire MS MARCO passage ranking task consisting of 8.8M passages. After ablating for the most promising techniques, we then consider model scales up to 11B parameters. Along the way, we uncover several findings about scaling generative retrieval to millions of passages. Notably, the use of synthetic query generation as document representation is the only modeling technique critical to retrieval effectiveness. In addition, we find that the strongest performing architecture modifications from the literature at T5-Base initialization only perform well due to added parameters. Naively scaling to a comparable model size outperforms these proposed techniques. Finally, while model scale is necessary as corpus size increases, we find that given existing techniques, scaling model parameters past a certain point can be detrimental for retrieval effectiveness. This result might be counter-intuitive to the commonly held belief that model capacity is a limiting factor for scaling generative retrieval to larger corpora, and suggests the need for more fundamental improvements. In general, we believe that these findings will be highly valuable for the community to clarify the state of generative retrieval at scale and highlight the challenges currently facing the paradigm. View details
    Preview abstract Prompt-tuning is becoming a new paradigm for finetuning pre-trained language models in a parameter-efficient way. Here, we explore the use of HyperNetworks to generate prompts. We propose a novel architecture of HyperPrompt: prompt-based task-conditioned parameterization of self-attention in Transformers. We show that HyperPrompt is very competitive against strong multi-task learning baselines with only 1% of additional task-conditioning parameters. The prompts are end-to-end learnable via generation by a HyperNetwork. The additional parameters scale sub-linearly with the number of downstream tasks, which makes it very parameter efficient for multi-task learning. Hyper-Prompt allows the network to learn task-specific feature maps where the prompts serve as task global memories. Information sharing is enabled among tasks through the HyperNetwork to alleviate task conflicts during co-training. Through extensive empirical experiments, we demonstrate that HyperPrompt can achieve superior performances over strong T5 multi-task learning base-lines and parameter-efficient adapter variants including Prompt-Tuning on Natural Language Understanding benchmarks of GLUE and Super-GLUE across all the model sizes explored. View details
    Preview abstract In this paper, we demonstrate that information retrieval can be accomplished with a single Transformer, in which all information about the corpus is encoded in the parameters of the model. To this end, we introduce the Differentiable Search Index (DSI), a new paradigm that learns a text-to-text model that maps string queries directly to relevant docids; in other words, a DSI model answers queries directly using only its parameters, dramatically simplifying the whole retrieval process. We study variations in how documents and their identifiers are represented, variations in training procedures, and the interplay between models and corpus sizes. Experiments demonstrate that given appropriate design choices, DSI significantly outperforms strong baselines such as dual encoder models. Moreover, DSI demonstrates strong generalization capabilities, outperforming a BM25 baseline in a zero-shot setup. View details
    Covid Vaccine Search Classification with Pretrained Transformers and Dense Feature Memory
    Yi Tay
    Chaitanya Kamath
    Shailesh Bavadekar
    Evgeniy Gabrilovich
    Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (2022)
    Preview abstract With the devastating outbreak of COVID-19, vaccines are one of the crucial lines of defense against mass infection in this global pandemic. Given the protection they provide, vaccines are becoming mandatory in certain social and professional settings. This paper presents a classification model for detecting COVID-19 vaccination related search queries, a machine learning model that is used to generate search insights for COVID-19 vaccinations. The proposed method combines and leverages advancements from modern state-of-the-art (SOTA) natural language understanding (NLU) techniques such as pretrained Transformers with traditional dense features. We propose a novel approach of considering dense features as memory tokens that the model can attend to. We show that this new modeling approach enables a significant improvement to the Vaccine Search Insights (VSI) task, improving a strong well-established gradient-boosting baseline by relative +15% improvement in F1 score and +14% in precision. View details
    Preview abstract Despite the recent success of multi-task learning and transfer learning for natural language processing (NLP), few works have systematically studied the effect of scaling up the number of tasks during pre-training. Towards this goal, this paper introduces ExMix (Extreme Mixture): a massive collection of 107 supervised NLP tasks across diverse domains and task-families. Using ExMix, we study the effect of multi-task pre-training at the largest scale to date, and analyze co-training transfer amongst common families of tasks. Through this analysis, we show that manually curating an ideal set of tasks for multi-task pre-training is not straightforward, and that multi-task scaling can vastly improve models on its own. Finally, we propose ExT5: a model pre-trained using a multi-task objective of self-supervised span denoising and supervised ExMix. Via extensive experiments, we show that ExT5 outperforms strong T5 baselines on SuperGLUE, GEM, Rainbow, Closed-Book QA tasks, and several tasks outside of ExMix. ExT5 also significantly improves sample efficiency while pre-training. View details
    Preview abstract State-of-the-art neural models typically encode document-query pairs using cross-attention for re-ranking. To this end, models generally utilize an encoder-only (like BERT) paradigm or an encoder-decoder (like T5) approach. These paradigms, however, are not without flaws, i.e., running the model on all query-document pairs at inference-time incurs a significant computational cost. This paper proposes a new training and inference paradigm for re-ranking. We propose to finetune a pretrained encoder-decoder model using in the form of document to query generation. Subsequently, we show that this encoder-decoder architecture can be decomposed into a decoder-only language model during inference. This results in significant inference time speedups since the decoder-only architecture only needs to learn to interpret static encoder embeddings during inference. Our experiments show that this new paradigm achieves results that are comparable to the more expensive cross-attention ranking approaches while being up to 6.8X faster. We believe this work paves the way for more efficient neural rankers that leverage large pretrained models. View details
    A New Generation of Perspective API: Efficient Multilingual Character-level Transformers
    Alyssa Whitlock Lees
    Yi Tay
    Proceedings of the 28th ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (2022)
    Preview abstract On the world wide web, toxic content detectors are a crucial line ofdefense against potentially hateful and offensive messages. As such,building highly effective classifiers that enable a safer internet is animportant research area. Moreover, the web is a highly multilingual,cross-cultural community that develops its own lingo over time.As such, developing models that can be effective across a diverserange of languages usages and styles is crucial. In this paper, wepresent Jigsaw Perspective API’s new generation of toxic contentclassifiers which takes a step towards this unified vision. At theheart of the approach is a single multilingual token-free Charformermodel that is applicable across languages, domains, and tasks. Wedemonstrate that by forgoing static vocabularies, we gain flexibilityacross a variety of settings. We additionally outline the techniquesemployed to make such a byte-level model efficient and feasible forproductionization. Through extensive experiments on multilingualtoxic comment classification benchmarks derived from real API traffic and evaluation on an array of code-switching, covert toxicity,emoji-based hate, human-readable obfuscation, distribution shift,and bias evaluation settings, we show that our proposed approachoutperforms strong baselines. Finally, we present our findings ofdeploying this system in production, and discuss our observedbenefits over traditional approaches View details
    Preview abstract Recent advances in Transformer-based large language models (LLMs) achieved significant performance improvements across many tasks. These gains come with a drastic increase in the models' size, leading to slow and costly use at inference time. In practice, however, the series of generations made by LLMs is composed of varying levels of difficulty. While certain predictions truly benefit from the models' full capacity, other continuations are more trivial and can be solved with reduced compute. In this work, we introduce Confident Adaptive Language Modeling (CALM), a method for dynamically allocating different amounts of compute per example and per generation timestep. Early exit decoding involves several challenges that we address here, such as: (1) what confidence measure to use; (2) connecting sequence-level constraints to local per-token exit decisions; and (3) attending back to missing hidden representations due to early exits in previous tokens. Through theoretical analysis and empirical experiments on three diverse generation tasks, we demonstrate the efficacy of our method in reliably reducing compute while maintaining high performance. View details
    Preview abstract State-of-the-art models in natural language processing rely on separate rigid subword tokenization algorithms, which limit their generalization ability and adaptation to new settings. In this paper, we propose a new model inductive bias that learns a subword tokenization end-to-end as part of the model. To this end, we introduce a soft gradient-based subword tokenization module (GBST) that automatically learns latent subword representations from characters in a data-driven fashion. Concretely, GBST enumerates candidate subword blocks and learns to score them in a position-wise fashion using a block scoring network. We additionally introduce Charformer, a deep Transformer model that integrates GBST and operates on the byte level. Via extensive experiments on English GLUE, multilingual, and noisy text datasets, we show that Charformer outperforms a series of competitive byte-level baselines while generally performing on par and sometimes outperforming subword-based models. Additionally, Charformer is fast, improving the speed of both vanilla byte-level and subword-level Transformers by 28%-100% while maintaining competitive quality. We believe this work paves the way for highly performant token-free models that are trained completely end-to-end. View details
    Preview abstract This paper proposes Omnidirectional Representations from Transformers (\textsc{OmniNet}). In OmniNet, instead of maintaing a strictly horizontal receptive field, each token is allowed to attend to all tokens in the entire network. This process can also be interpreted as a form of extreme or intensive attention mechanism that has the receptive field of the entire width and depth of the network. To this end, the omnidirection attention is learned via a meta-learner, which is essentially another self-attention based model. In order to mitigate the computationally expensive costs of full receptive field attention, we leverage efficient self-attention models such as kernel-based \cite{choromanski2020rethinking}, low-rank attention \cite{wang2020linformer} and/or Big Bird \cite{zaheer2020big} as the meta-learner. We conduct extensive experiments on autoregressive language modeling (LM1B, C4), Machine Translation, Long Range Arena (LRA) and Image Recognition, showing that OmniNet not only achieves considerable improvements when equipped with both sequence-based (1D) Transformers but also on image recognition (finetuning and few shot learning) tasks. OmniNet also achieves state-of-the-art performance on LM1B, WMT'14 En-De/En-Fr and Long Range Arena. View details
    Vaccine Search Patterns Provide Insights into Vaccination Intent
    Sean Malahy
    Keith Spangler
    Jessica Leibler
    Kevin J. Lane
    Shailesh Bavadekar
    Chaitanya Kamath
    Akim Kumok
    Yuantong Sun
    Tague Griffith
    Adam Boulanger
    Mark Young
    Charlotte Stanton
    Yael Mayer
    Karen Lee Smith
    Kat Chou
    Jonathan I. Levy
    Adam A.Szpiro
    Evgeniy Gabrilovich
    Gregory A. Wellenius
    arXiv (2021), TBD
    Preview abstract Despite ample supply of COVID-19 vaccines, the proportion of fully vaccinated individuals remains suboptimal across much of the US. Rapid vaccination of additional people will prevent new infections among both the unvaccinated and the vaccinated, thus saving lives. With the rapid rollout of vaccination efforts this year, the internet has become a dominant source of information about COVID-19 vaccines, their safety and efficacy, and their availability. We sought to evaluate whether trends in internet searches related to COVID-19 vaccination - as reflected by Google's Vaccine Search Insights (VSI) index - could be used as a marker of population-level interest in receiving a vaccination. We found that between January and August of 2021: 1) Google's weekly VSI index was associated with the number of new vaccinations administered in the subsequent three weeks, and 2) the average VSI index in earlier months was strongly correlated (up to r = 0.89) with vaccination rates many months later. Given these results, we illustrate an approach by which data on search interest may be combined with other available data to inform local public health outreach and vaccination efforts. These results suggest that the VSI index may be useful as a leading indicator of population-level interest in or intent to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine, especially early in the vaccine deployment efforts. These results may be relevant to current efforts to administer COVID-19 vaccines to unvaccinated individuals, to newly eligible children, and to those eligible to receive a booster shot. More broadly, these results highlight the opportunities for anonymized and aggregated internet search data, available in near real-time, to inform the response to public health emergencies. View details
    Google COVID-19 Vaccination Search Insights: Anonymization Process Description
    Adam Boulanger
    Akim Kumok
    Arti Patankar
    Benjamin Miller
    Chaitanya Kamath
    Charlotte Stanton
    Chris Scott
    Damien Desfontaines
    Evgeniy Gabrilovich
    Gregory A. Wellenius
    John S. Davis
    Karen Lee Smith
    Krishna Kumar Gadepalli
    Mark Young
    Shailesh Bavadekar
    Tague Griffith
    Yael Mayer
    Arxiv.org (2021)
    Preview abstract This report describes the aggregation and anonymization process applied to the COVID-19 Vaccination Search Insights~\cite{vaccination}, a publicly available dataset showing aggregated and anonymized trends in Google searches related to COVID-19 vaccination. The applied anonymization techniques protect every user’s daily search activity related to COVID-19 vaccinations with $(\varepsilon, \delta)$-differential privacy for $\varepsilon = 2.19$ and $\delta = 10^{-5}$. View details
    Preview abstract In the era of pretrained language models, transformers are the defacto choice of model architectures. While recent works have shown promise in entirely convolutional based architectures, these CNN-based models have not been widely adopted or evaluated under the pretrain-finetune paradigm. In the context of language models, are convolutional models competitive when pretrained? This paper investigates this research question and presents several interesting findings. Across a set of extensive experiments, our findings show that CNN-based pretrained models are highly competitive and outperform Transformer-based pretrained models in certain scenarios, albeit with caveats. Overall, the findings of this paper should implore the broader academic community to perhaps not conflate pretraining advances with architectural advances and both set of techniques could be studied in isolation. View details
    Preview abstract Spell correction is a must-have feature for any modern search engine in applications such as web or e-commerce search. Typical spell correction solutions used in production systems consist of large indexed lookup tables based on a global model trained across many users over a large scale web corpus or a query log. For search over personal corpora, such as email, this global solution is not sufficient, as it ignores the user's personal lexicon. Without personalization, global spelling fails to correct tail queries drawn from a user's own, often idiosyncratic, lexicon. Personalization using existing algorithms is difficult due to resource constraints and unavailability of sufficient data to build per-user models. In this work, we propose a simple and effective personalized spell correction solution that augments existing global solutions for search over private corpora. Our event driven spell correction candidate generation method is specifically designed with personalization as the key construct. Our novel spell correction and query completion algorithms do not require complex model training and is highly efficient. The proposed solution has shown over 30% click-through rate gain on affected queries when evaluated against a range of strong commercial personal search baselines - Google's Gmail, Drive, and Calendar search production systems. View details
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