Guy Dar


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In-context Learning and Gradient Descent Revisited
Gilad Deutch | Nadav Magar | Tomer Natan | Guy Dar
Proceedings of the 2024 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies (Volume 1: Long Papers)

In-context learning (ICL) has shown impressive results in few-shot learning tasks, yet its underlying mechanism is still not fully understood. A recent line of work suggests that ICL performs gradient descent (GD)-based optimization implicitly. While appealing, much of the research focuses on simplified settings, where the parameters of a shallow model are optimized. In this work, we revisit evidence for ICL-GD correspondence on realistic NLP tasks and models. We find gaps in evaluation, both in terms of problematic metrics and insufficient baselines. We show that surprisingly, even untrained models achieve comparable ICL-GD similarity scores despite not exhibiting ICL.Next, we explore a major discrepancy in the flow of information throughout the model between ICL and GD, which we term Layer Causality. We propose a simple GD-based optimization procedure that respects layer causality, and show it improves similarity scores significantly.


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Analyzing Transformers in Embedding Space
Guy Dar | Mor Geva | Ankit Gupta | Jonathan Berant
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Understanding Transformer-based models has attracted significant attention, as they lie at the heart of recent technological advances across machine learning. While most interpretability methods rely on running models over inputs, recent work has shown that a zero-pass approach, where parameters are interpreted directly without a forward/backward pass is feasible for some Transformer parameters, and for two-layer attention networks. In this work, we present a theoretical analysis where all parameters of a trained Transformer are interpreted by projecting them into the embedding space, that is, the space of vocabulary items they operate on. We derive a simple theoretical framework to support our arguments and provide ample evidence for its validity. First, an empirical analysis showing that parameters of both pretrained and fine-tuned models can be interpreted in embedding space. Second, we present two applications of our framework: (a) aligning the parameters of different models that share a vocabulary, and (b) constructing a classifier without training by “translating” the parameters of a fine-tuned classifier to parameters of a different model that was only pretrained. Overall, our findings open the door to interpretation methods that, at least in part, abstract away from model specifics and operate in the embedding space only.


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LM-Debugger: An Interactive Tool for Inspection and Intervention in Transformer-Based Language Models
Mor Geva | Avi Caciularu | Guy Dar | Paul Roit | Shoval Sadde | Micah Shlain | Bar Tamir | Yoav Goldberg
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

The opaque nature and unexplained behavior of transformer-based language models (LMs) have spurred a wide interest in interpreting their predictions. However, current interpretation methods mostly focus on probing models from outside, executing behavioral tests, and analyzing salience input features, while the internal prediction construction process is largely not understood. In this work, we introduce LM-Debugger, an interactive debugger tool for transformer-based LMs, which provides a fine-grained interpretation of the model’s internal prediction process, as well as a powerful framework for intervening in LM behavior. For its backbone, LM-Debugger relies on a recent method that interprets the inner token representations and their updates by the feed-forward layers in the vocabulary space. We demonstrate the utility of LM-Debugger for single-prediction debugging, by inspecting the internal disambiguation process done by GPT2. Moreover, we show how easily LM-Debugger allows to shift model behavior in a direction of the user’s choice, by identifying a few vectors in the network and inducing effective interventions to the prediction process. We release LM-Debugger as an open-source tool and a demo over GPT2 models.


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Memory-efficient Transformers via Top-k Attention
Ankit Gupta | Guy Dar | Shaya Goodman | David Ciprut | Jonathan Berant
Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Simple and Efficient Natural Language Processing

Following the success of dot-product attention in Transformers, numerous approximations have been recently proposed to address its quadratic complexity with respect to the input length. While these variants are memory and compute efficient, it is not possible to directly use them with popular pre-trained language models trained using vanilla attention, without an expensive corrective pre-training stage. In this work, we propose a simple yet highly accurate approximation for vanilla attention. We process the queries in chunks, and for each query, compute the top-*k* scores with respect to the keys. Our approach offers several advantages: (a) its memory usage is linear in the input size, similar to linear attention variants, such as Performer and RFA (b) it is a drop-in replacement for vanilla attention that does not require any corrective pre-training, and (c) it can also lead to significant memory savings in the feed-forward layers after casting them into the familiar query-key-value framework. We evaluate the quality of top-*k* approximation for multi-head attention layers on the Long Range Arena Benchmark, and for feed-forward layers of T5 and UnifiedQA on multiple QA datasets. We show our approach leads to accuracy that is nearly-identical to vanilla attention in multiple setups including training from scratch, fine-tuning, and zero-shot inference.