Large language models (LLMs) have proven to be very superior to conventional methods in various tasks. However, their expensive computations and high memory requirements are prohibitive for deployment. Model quantization is an effective method for reducing this overhead. The problem is that in most previous works, the quantized model was calibrated using few samples from the training data, which might affect the generalization of the quantized LLMs to unknown cases and tasks. Hence in this work, we explore an important question: Can we design a data-independent quantization method for LLMs to guarantee its generalization performance? In this work, we propose EasyQuant, a training-free and data-independent weight-only quantization algorithm for LLMs. Our observation indicates that two factors: outliers in the weight and quantization ranges, are essential for reducing the quantization error. Therefore, in EasyQuant, we leave the outliers (less than 1%) unchanged and optimize the quantization range to reduce the reconstruction error. With these methods, we surprisingly find that EasyQuant achieves comparable performance to the original model. Since EasyQuant does not depend on any training data, the generalization performance of quantized LLMs is safely guaranteed. Moreover, EasyQuant can be implemented in parallel so that the quantized model could be attained in a few minutes even for LLMs over 100B. To our best knowledge, we are the first work that achieves almost lossless quantization performance for LLMs under a data-independent setting and our algorithm runs over 10 times faster than the data-dependent methods.
While vector-based language representations from pretrained language models have set a new standard for many NLP tasks, there is not yet a complete accounting of their inner workings. In particular, it is not entirely clear what aspects of sentence-level syntax are captured by these representations, nor how (if at all) they are built along the stacked layers of the network. In this paper, we aim to address such questions with a general class of interventional, input perturbation-based analyses of representations from pretrained language models. Importing from computational and cognitive neuroscience the notion of representational invariance, we perform a series of probes designed to test the sensitivity of these representations to several kinds of structure in sentences. Each probe involves swapping words in a sentence and comparing the representations from perturbed sentences against the original. We experiment with three different perturbations: (1) random permutations of n-grams of varying width, to test the scale at which a representation is sensitive to word position; (2) swapping of two spans which do or do not form a syntactic phrase, to test sensitivity to global phrase structure; and (3) swapping of two adjacent words which do or do not break apart a syntactic phrase, to test sensitivity to local phrase structure. Results from these probes collectively suggest that Transformers build sensitivity to larger parts of the sentence along their layers, and that hierarchical phrase structure plays a role in this process. More broadly, our results also indicate that structured input perturbations widens the scope of analyses that can be performed on often-opaque deep learning systems, and can serve as a complement to existing tools (such as supervised linear probes) for interpreting complex black-box models.