Sanjiv Kumar

Sanjiv Kumar

Hi! I work in the area of large-scale machine learning and computer vision. You can find more information about me including a complete list of papers at: www.sanjivk.com.
Authored Publications
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    Preview abstract Modern text-to-image generation models produce high-quality images that are both photorealistic and faithful to the text prompts. However, this quality comes at significant computational cost: nearly all of these models are iterative and require running sampling multiple times with large models. This iterative process is needed to ensure that different regions of the image are not only aligned with the text prompt, but also compatible with each other. In this work, we propose a light-weight approach to achieving this compatibility between different regions of an image, using a Markov Random Field (MRF) model. We demonstrate the effectiveness of this method on top of the latent token-based Muse text-to-image model. The MRF richly encodes the compatibility among image tokens at different spatial locations to improve quality and significantly reduce the required number of Muse sampling steps. Inference with the MRF is significantly cheaper, and its parameters can be quickly learned through back-propagation by modeling MRF inference as a differentiable neural-network layer. Our full model, MarkovGen, uses this proposed MRF model to both speed up Muse by 1.5X and produce higher quality images by decreasing undesirable image artifacts. View details
    Preview abstract As with many machine learning problems, the progress of image generation methods hinges on good evaluation metrics. One of the most popular is the Frechet Inception Distance (FID). FID estimates the distance between a distribution of Inception-v3 features of real images, and those of images generated by the algorithm. We highlight important drawbacks of FID: Inception's poor representation of the rich and varied content generated by modern text-to-image models, incorrect normality assumptions, and poor sample complexity. We call for a reevaluation of FID's use as the primary quality metric for generated images. We empirically demonstrate that FID contradicts human raters, it does not reflect gradual improvement of iterative text-to-image models, it does not capture distortion levels, and that it produces inconsistent results when varying the sample size. We also propose an alternative new metric, CMMD, based on richer CLIP embeddings and the maximum mean discrepancy distance with the Gaussian RBF kernel. It is an unbiased estimator that does not make any assumptions on the probability distribution of the embeddings and is sample efficient. Through extensive experiments and analysis, we demonstrate that FID-based evaluations of text-to-image models may be unreliable, and that CMMD offers a more robust and reliable assessment of image quality. View details
    Promises and Pitfalls of Generative Masked Language Modeling: Theoretical Framework and Practical Guidelines
    Yuchen Li
    Alexandre Kirchmeyer
    Aashay Mehta
    Yilong Qin
    Andrej Risteski
    International Conference on Machine Learning(2024) (to appear)
    Preview abstract Autoregressive language models are the currently dominant paradigm for text generation, however they have some fundamental limitations that cannot be remedied by scale ---for example inherently sequential and unidirectional generation. While alternate classes of models have been explored, we have limited mathematical understanding of their fundamental power and limitations. In this paper we focus on Generative Masked Language Models (GMLMs), a non-autoregressive paradigm in which we train a model to fit conditional probabilities of the data distribution via masking, which are subsequently used as inputs to a Markov Chain to draw samples from the model. These models empirically strike a promising speed-quality trade-off as each step can be typically parallelized by decoding the entire sequence in parallel. We develop a mathematical framework for analyzing and improving such models which sheds light on questions of sample complexity and inference speed and quality. Empirically, we adapt the T5 model for iteratively-refined parallel decoding, achieving 2-3x speedup in machine translation with minimal sacrifice in quality compared with autoregressive models. We run careful ablation experiments to give recommendations on key design choices, and make fine-grained observations on the common error modes in connection with our theory. Our mathematical analyses and empirical observations characterize both potentials and limitations of this approach, and can be applied to future works on improving understanding and performance of GMLMs. View details
    Teacher Guided Training: An Efficient Framework for Knowledge Transfer
    Chong You
    Himanshu Jain
    Rob Fergus
    International Conference on Learning Representations(2023) (to appear)
    Preview abstract The remarkable performance gains realized by large pretrained models, e.g., GPT-3, hinge on the massive amounts of data they are exposed to during training. Analogously, distilling such large models to compact models for efficient deployment also necessitates a large amount of (labeled or unlabeled) training data. In this paper, we devise teacher-guided training (TGT) framework for training a high-quality compact model that leverages the knowledge acquired by pre-trained \emph{generative} models while obviating the need to go through a large volume of data. TGT exploits the fact that the teacher has acquired a good representation of the underlying data domain, which typically corresponds to a much lower dimensional manifold than the ambient space. Furthermore, we can use the teacher to explore the instance space more efficiently through sampling or gradient-based methods; thus, making TGT especially attractive for limited data or long-tail settings. We formally capture this benefit of proposed data-domain exploration in our generalization bounds. Among our empirical evaluations, we find that TGT can improve accuracy on ImageNet-LT by 10% compared to natural baseline and match accuracy on sentiment analysis on Amazon reviews without the need for pretraining. View details
    Preview abstract This paper introduces SOAR: Spilling with Orthogonality-Amplified Residuals, a novel data indexing technique for approximate nearest neighbor (ANN) search. SOAR extends upon previous approaches to ANN search, such as spill trees, that utilize multiple redundant representations while partitioning the data to reduce the probability of missing a nearest neighbor during search. Rather than training and computing these redundant representations independently, however, SOAR uses an orthogonality-amplified residual loss, which optimizes each representation to compensate for cases where other representations perform poorly. This drastically improves the overall index quality, resulting in state-of-the-art ANN benchmark performance while maintaining fast indexing times and low memory consumption. View details
    Preview abstract Large deep learning models have achieved state-of-the-art performance across various natural language processing (NLP) tasks and demonstrated remarkable few-shot learning performance. However, training them is often challenging and resource-intensive. In this paper, we study an efficient approach to train language models using few-shot learners. We show that, by leveraging the fast learning nature of few-shot learners, one can train language models efficiently in a stagewise manner. Our main insight is that stacking a good few-shot learner on a good small language model provides a good initializer for a larger language model. Using this insight and building upon progressive stacking approaches, we develop novel approaches for training such networks in a stagewise manner. Furthermore, we also provide a theoretical framework and accompanying empirical studies to support our insights, thereby creating a theoretical foundation for progressive stacking. Finally, we provide empirical results to demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach in reducing the training time of few-shot learners. View details
    Preview abstract This paper reveals a curious observation that modern large-scale machine learning models with Transformer architectures have sparse activation maps. By activation map we refer to the intermediate output of the multi-layer perceptrons (MLPs) after a ReLU activation function, and by ``sparse'' we mean that on average very few entries (e.g., 3.0% for T5-Base and 6.3% for ViT-B16) are nonzero for each input to MLP. Through extensive experiments we demonstrate that the emergence of sparsity is a prevalent phenomenon that occurs for both natural language processing and vision tasks, on both training and evaluation data, for Transformers of various configurations, at layers of all depth levels, etc. Moreover, larger Transformers with more layers and higher MLP hidden dimensions are sparser as measured by the percentage of nonzero entries. To probe why sparsity emerges, we design experiments with random labels, random images, and infinite data, and find that sparsity may be due primarily to optimization while has little to do with the properties of training dataset. We discuss how sparsity immediately implies a means for significantly reducing the FLOP count and improving efficiency for Transformers. Moreover, we demonstrate perhaps surprisingly that explicitly enforcing an even sparser activation via Top-K thresholding with a small value of k brings a collection of desired but missing properties for Transformers, namely less sensitivity to noisy training data, more robustness to input corruptions, and better calibration for their prediction confidence. View details
    Supervision complexity and its role in knowledge distillation
    Hrayr Harutyunyan
    Aditya Krishna Menon
    International Conference on Learning Representations(2023) (to appear)
    Preview abstract Knowledge distillation is a popular method of compressing a large teacher model (or an ensemble of models) to a more compact student model. While empirically effective, there is limited understanding of why distillation helps, and how to improve it to transfer richer knowledge from the teacher to student. In this paper, we propose a new online distillation algorithm that applies distillation using a sequence of teacher models, corresponding to different checkpoints during teacher training. Intuitively, this gradually increases the complexity of the target functions that the student model is asked to mimic. Formally, we establish generalization bounds that explicate how the target label complexity can benefit the student. We empirically demonstrate that online distillation can significantly improve over regular offline distillation, particularly in scenarios where there is a large teacher-student capacity gap. View details
    Preview abstract The approximate nearest neighbor (ANN) search problem is fundamental to efficiently serving many real-world machine learning applications. A number of techniques have been developed for ANN search that are efficient, accurate, and scalable. However, such techniques typically have a number of parameters that affect the speed-recall tradeoff, and exhibit poor performance when such parameters aren't properly set. Tuning these parameters has traditionally been a manual process, demanding in-depth knowledge of the underlying search algorithm. This is becoming an increasingly unrealistic demand as ANN search grows in popularity. To tackle this obstacle to ANN adoption, this work proposes a constrained optimization-based approach to tuning quantization-based ANN algorithms. Our technique takes just a desired search cost or recall as input, and then generates tunings that, empirically, are very close to the speed-recall Pareto frontier and give leading performance on standard benchmarks. View details
    Serving Graph Compression for Graph Neural Networks
    Cho-Jui Hsieh
    International Conference on Learning Representations(2023) (to appear)
    Preview abstract Serving a GNN model in online applications is challenging --- one has to propagate the information from training nodes to testing nodes to achieve the best performance, while storing the whole training set (including training graph and node features) during inference time is prohibitive for most of the real world applications. We tackle this serving space compression problem in the paper, where the goal is to compress the storage requirement for GNN serving. Given a model to be served, the proposed method constructs a small set of virtual representative nodes to replace the original training nodes, so that users just need to replace the original training set by this virtual representative set to reduce the space requirement for serving, without the need of changing the actual GNN model and the forward pass. We carefully analyze the error in the forward pass and derive simple ways to construct the node features and graph of virtual representative nodes to minimize the approximation error. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method can significantly reduce the serving space requirement for GNN inference. View details