As language models increase in size by the day, methods for efficient inference are critical to leveraging their capabilities for various applications. Prior work has investigated techniques like model pruning, knowledge distillation, and data multiplexing to increase model throughput without sacrificing accuracy. In this paper, we combine two such methods – structured pruning and data multiplexing – to compound the speedup gains obtained by either method. Our approach, PruMUX, obtains up to 7.5-29.5X throughput improvement over BERT-base model with accuracy threshold from 80% to 74%. We further study various combinations of parameters (such as sparsity and multiplexing factor) in the two techniques to provide a comprehensive analysis of the tradeoff between accuracy and throughput in the resulting models. We then propose Auto-PruMUX, a meta-level model that can predict the high-performance parameters for pruning and multiplexing given a desired accuracy loss budget, providing a practical method to leverage the combination effectively.
Retrieval-based language models (LMs) have demonstrated improved interpretability, factuality, and adaptability compared to their parametric counterparts by incorporating retrieved text from external datastores. While it is well known that parametric models are prone to leaking private data, it remains unclear how the addition of a retrieval datastore impacts model privacy. In this work, we present the first study of privacy risks in retrieval-based LMs, particularly kNN-LMs. Our goal is to explore the optimal design and training procedure in domains where privacy is of concern, aiming to strike a balance between utility and privacy. Crucially, we find that kNN-LMs are more susceptible to leaking private information from their private datastore than parametric models. We further explore mitigations of privacy risks: When privacy information is targeted and readily detected in the text, we find that a simple sanitization step would eliminate the risks while decoupling query and key encoders achieves an even better utility-privacy trade-off. Otherwise, we consider strategies of mixing public and private data in both datastore and encoder training. While these methods offer modest improvements, they leave considerable room for future work. Together, our findings provide insights for practitioners to better understand and mitigate privacy risks in retrieval-based LMs.
We study few-shot debugging of transformer based natural language understanding models, using recently popularized test suites to not just diagnose but correct a problem. Given a few debugging examples of a certain phenomenon, and a held-out test set of the same phenomenon, we aim to maximize accuracy on the phenomenon at a minimal cost of accuracy on the original test set. We examine several methods that are faster than full epoch retraining. We introduce a new fast method, which samples a few in-danger examples from the original training set. Compared to fast methods using parameter distance constraints or Kullback-Leibler divergence, we achieve superior original accuracy for comparable debugging accuracy.
An unsolved challenge in distributed or federated learning is to effectively mitigate privacy risks without slowing down training or reducing accuracy. In this paper, we propose TextHide aiming at addressing this challenge for natural language understanding tasks. It requires all participants to add a simple encryption step to prevent an eavesdropping attacker from recovering private text data. Such an encryption step is efficient and only affects the task performance slightly. In addition, TextHide fits well with the popular framework of fine-tuning pre-trained language models (e.g., BERT) for any sentence or sentence-pair task. We evaluate TextHide on the GLUE benchmark, and our experiments show that TextHide can effectively defend attacks on shared gradients or representations and the averaged accuracy reduction is only 1.9%. We also present an analysis of the security of TextHide using a conjecture about the computational intractability of a mathematical problem.