Madian Khabsa


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MART: Improving LLM Safety with Multi-round Automatic Red-Teaming
Suyu Ge | Chunting Zhou | Rui Hou | Madian Khabsa | Yi-Chia Wang | Qifan Wang | Jiawei Han | Yuning Mao
Proceedings of the 2024 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Red-teaming is a common practice for mitigating unsafe behaviors in Large Language Models (LLMs), which involves thoroughly assessing LLMs to identify potential flaws and addressing them with responsible and accurate responses.While effective, manual red-teaming is costly, and existing automatic red-teaming typically discovers safety risks without addressing them.In this paper, we propose a Multi-round Automatic Red-Teaming (MART) method, which incorporates both automatic adversarial prompt writing and safe response generation, significantly increasing red-teaming scalability and the safety of the target LLM.Specifically, an adversarial LLM and a target LLM interplay with each other in an iterative manner, where the adversarial LLM aims to generate challenging prompts that elicit unsafe responses from the target LLM, while the target LLM is fine-tuned with safety aligned data on these adversarial prompts. In each round, the adversarial LLM crafts better attacks on the updated target LLM, while the target LLM also improves itself through safety fine-tuning.On adversarial prompt benchmarks, the violation rate of an LLM with limited safety alignment reduces up to 84.7% after 4 rounds of MART, achieving comparable performance to LLMs with extensive adversarial prompt writing. Notably, model helpfulness on non-adversarial prompts remains stable throughout iterations, indicating the target LLM maintains strong performance on instruction following.

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Effective Long-Context Scaling of Foundation Models
Wenhan Xiong | Jingyu Liu | Igor Molybog | Hejia Zhang | Prajjwal Bhargava | Rui Hou | Louis Martin | Rashi Rungta | Karthik Abinav Sankararaman | Barlas Oguz | Madian Khabsa | Han Fang | Yashar Mehdad | Sharan Narang | Kshitiz Malik | Angela Fan | Shruti Bhosale | Sergey Edunov | Mike Lewis | Sinong Wang | Hao Ma
Proceedings of the 2024 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We present an effective recipe to train strong long-context LLMs that are capable of utilizing massive context windows of up to 32,000 tokens. Our models are built through continual pretraining from Llama 2 checkpoints with longer text sequences and on a dataset where long texts are upsampled. We perform extensive evaluation using language modeling, synthetic context probing tasks, and a wide range of downstream benchmarks. Across all evaluations, our models achieve consistent improvements on most regular-context tasks and significant improvements on long-context tasks over Llama 2. Moreover, with a cost-effective instruction tuning procedure that is free of expensive annotation, the presented models can already surpass gpt-3.5-turbo-16k‘s overall performance on long-context benchmarks. Alongside these results, we provide an in-depth analysis on each individual component of our method. We delve into Llama’s position encodings and discuss its key limitation in modeling long data. We examine the impact of various design choices in the pretraining process, including the data mix and the training curriculum of sequence lengths – ablation results suggest that having abundant long texts in the pretrain dataset is not the key to achieving strong performance, and we empirically verify that long context continual pretraining is more efficient and similarly effective compared to pretraining from scratch with long sequences.


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Residual Prompt Tuning: improving prompt tuning with residual reparameterization
Anastasiia Razdaibiedina | Yuning Mao | Madian Khabsa | Mike Lewis | Rui Hou | Jimmy Ba | Amjad Almahairi
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Prompt tuning is one of the successful approaches for parameter-efficient tuning of pre-trained language models. Despite being arguably the most parameter-efficient (tuned soft prompts constitute <0.1% of total parameters), it typically performs worse than other efficient tuning methods and is quite sensitive to hyper-parameters. In this work, we introduce Residual Prompt Tuning - a simple and efficient method that significantly improves the performance and stability of prompt tuning. We propose to reparameterize soft prompt embeddings using a shallow network with a residual connection. Our experiments show that Residual Prompt Tuning significantly outperforms prompt tuning across T5-Large, T5-Base and BERT-Base models. Notably, our method reaches +7 points improvement over prompt tuning on SuperGLUE benchmark with T5-Base model and allows to reduce the prompt length by 10 times without hurting performance. In addition, we show that our approach is robust to the choice of learning rate and prompt initialization, and is effective in few-shot settings.

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MixPAVE: Mix-Prompt Tuning for Few-shot Product Attribute Value Extraction
Li Yang | Qifan Wang | Jingang Wang | Xiaojun Quan | Fuli Feng | Yu Chen | Madian Khabsa | Sinong Wang | Zenglin Xu | Dongfang Liu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

The task of product attribute value extraction is to identify values of an attribute from product information. Product attributes are important features, which help improve online shopping experience of customers, such as product search, recommendation and comparison. Most existing works only focus on extracting values for a set of known attributes with sufficient training data. However, with the emerging nature of e-commerce, new products with their unique set of new attributes are constantly generated from different retailers and merchants. Collecting a large number of annotations for every new attribute is costly and time consuming. Therefore, it is an important research problem for product attribute value extraction with limited data. In this work, we propose a novel prompt tuning approach with Mixed Prompts for few-shot Attribute Value Extraction, namely MixPAVE. Specifically, MixPAVE introduces only a small amount (< 1%) of trainable parameters, i.e., a mixture of two learnable prompts, while keeping the existing extraction model frozen. In this way, MixPAVE not only benefits from parameter-efficient training, but also avoids model overfitting on limited training examples. Experimental results on two product benchmarks demonstrate the superior performance of the proposed approach over several state-of-the-art baselines. A comprehensive set of ablation studies validate the effectiveness of the prompt design, as well as the efficiency of our approach.

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RoAST: Robustifying Language Models via Adversarial Perturbation with Selective Training
Jaehyung Kim | Yuning Mao | Rui Hou | Hanchao Yu | Davis Liang | Pascale Fung | Qifan Wang | Fuli Feng | Lifu Huang | Madian Khabsa
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Fine-tuning pre-trained language models (LMs) has become the de facto standard in many NLP tasks. Nevertheless, fine-tuned LMs are still prone to robustness issues, such as adversarial robustness and model calibration. Several perspectives of robustness for LMs have been studied independently, but lacking a unified consideration in multiple perspectives. In this paper, we propose Robustifying LMs via Adversarial perturbation with Selective Training (RoAST), a simple yet effective fine-tuning technique to enhance the multi-perspective robustness of LMs in a unified way. RoAST effectively incorporates two important sources for the model robustness, robustness on the perturbed inputs and generalizable knowledge in pre-trained LMs. To be specific, RoAST introduces adversarial perturbation during fine-tuning while the model parameters are selectively updated upon their relative importance to minimize unnecessary deviation. Under a unified evaluation of fine-tuned LMs by incorporating four representative perspectives of model robustness, we demonstrate the effectiveness of RoAST compared to state-of-the-art fine-tuning methods on six different types of LMs, which indicates its usefulness in practice.

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XLM-V: Overcoming the Vocabulary Bottleneck in Multilingual Masked Language Models
Davis Liang | Hila Gonen | Yuning Mao | Rui Hou | Naman Goyal | Marjan Ghazvininejad | Luke Zettlemoyer | Madian Khabsa
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Large multilingual language models typically rely on a single vocabulary shared across 100+ languages. As these models have increased in parameter count and depth, vocabulary size has remained largely unchanged. This vocabulary bottleneck limits the representational capabilities of multilingual models like XLM-R. In this paper, we introduce a new approach for scaling to very large multilingual vocabularies by de-emphasizing token sharing between languages with little lexical overlap and assigning vocabulary capacity to achieve sufficient coverage for each individual language. Tokenizations using our vocabulary are typically more semantically meaningful and shorter compared to XLM-R. Leveraging this improved vocabulary, we train XLM-V, a multilingual language model with a one million token vocabulary. XLM-V outperforms XLM-R on every task we tested on ranging from natural language inference (XNLI), question answering (MLQA, XQuAD, TyDiQA), to named entity recognition (WikiAnn). XLM-V is particularly effective on low-resource language tasks and outperforms XLM-R by 11.2% and 5.8% absolute on MasakhaNER and Americas NLI, respectively.

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MUSTIE: Multimodal Structural Transformer for Web Information Extraction
Qifan Wang | Jingang Wang | Xiaojun Quan | Fuli Feng | Zenglin Xu | Shaoliang Nie | Sinong Wang | Madian Khabsa | Hamed Firooz | Dongfang Liu
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

The task of web information extraction is to extract target fields of an object from web pages, such as extracting the name, genre and actor from a movie page. Recent sequential modeling approaches have achieved state-of-the-art results on web information extraction. However, most of these methods only focus on extracting information from textual sources while ignoring the rich information from other modalities such as image and web layout. In this work, we propose a novel MUltimodal Structural Transformer (MUST) that incorporates multiple modalities for web information extraction. Concretely, we develop a structural encoder that jointly encodes the multimodal information based on the HTML structure of the web layout, where high-level DOM nodes, and low-level text and image tokens are introduced to represent the entire page. Structural attention patterns are designed to learn effective cross-modal embeddings for all DOM nodes and low-level tokens. An extensive set of experiments are conducted on WebSRC and Common Crawl benchmarks. Experimental results demonstrate the superior performance of MUST over several state-of-the-art baselines.

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Generating Hashtags for Short-form Videos with Guided Signals
Tiezheng Yu | Hanchao Yu | Davis Liang | Yuning Mao | Shaoliang Nie | Po-Yao Huang | Madian Khabsa | Pascale Fung | Yi-Chia Wang
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Short-form video hashtag recommendation (SVHR) aims to recommend hashtags to content creators from videos and corresponding descriptions. Most prior studies regard SVHR as a classification or ranking problem and select hashtags from a set of limited candidates. However, in reality, users can create new hashtags, and trending hashtags change rapidly over time on social media. Both of these properties cannot be easily modeled with classification approaches. To bridge this gap, we formulate SVHR as a generation task that better represents how hashtags are created naturally. Additionally, we propose the Guided Generative Model (GGM) where we augment the input features by retrieving relevant hashtags from a large-scale hashtag pool as extra guidance signals. Experimental results on two short-form video datasets show that our generative models outperform strong classification baselines, and the guidance signals further boost the performance by 8.11 and 2.17 absolute ROUGE-1 scores on average, respectively. We also perform extensive analyses including human evaluation, demonstrating that our generative model can create meaningful and relevant novel hashtags while achieving state-of-the-art performance on known hashtags


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SMARTAVE: Structured Multimodal Transformer for Product Attribute Value Extraction
Qifan Wang | Li Yang | Jingang Wang | Jitin Krishnan | Bo Dai | Sinong Wang | Zenglin Xu | Madian Khabsa | Hao Ma
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Automatic product attribute value extraction refers to the task of identifying values of an attribute from the product information. Product attributes are essential in improving online shopping experience for customers. Most existing methods focus on extracting attribute values from product title and description.However, in many real-world applications, a product is usually represented by multiple modalities beyond title and description, such as product specifications, text and visual information from the product image, etc. In this paper, we propose SMARTAVE, a Structure Mltimodal trAnsformeR for producT Attribute Value Extraction, which jointly encodes the structured product information from multiple modalities. Specifically, in SMARTAVE encoder, we introduce hyper-tokens to represent the modality-level information, and local-tokens to represent the original text and visual inputs. Structured attention patterns are designed among the hyper-tokens and local-tokens for learning effective product representation. The attribute values are then extracted based on the learned embeddings. We conduct extensive experiments on two multimodal product datasets. Experimental results demonstrate the superior performance of the proposed approach over several state-of-the-art methods. Ablation studies validate the effectiveness of the structured attentions in modeling the multimodal product information.

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UniPELT: A Unified Framework for Parameter-Efficient Language Model Tuning
Yuning Mao | Lambert Mathias | Rui Hou | Amjad Almahairi | Hao Ma | Jiawei Han | Scott Yih | Madian Khabsa
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Recent parameter-efficient language model tuning (PELT) methods manage to match the performance of fine-tuning with much fewer trainable parameters and perform especially well when training data is limited. However, different PELT methods may perform rather differently on the same task, making it nontrivial to select the most appropriate method for a specific task, especially considering the fast-growing number of new PELT methods and tasks. In light of model diversity and the difficulty of model selection, we propose a unified framework, UniPELT, which incorporates different PELT methods as submodules and learns to activate the ones that best suit the current data or task setup via gating mechanism. On the GLUE benchmark, UniPELT consistently achieves 1 4% gains compared to the best individual PELT method that it incorporates and even outperforms fine-tuning under different setups. Moreover, UniPELT generally surpasses the upper bound that takes the best performance of all its submodules used individually on each task, indicating that a mixture of multiple PELT methods may be inherently more effective than single methods.

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Sparse Distillation: Speeding Up Text Classification by Using Bigger Student Models
Qinyuan Ye | Madian Khabsa | Mike Lewis | Sinong Wang | Xiang Ren | Aaron Jaech
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Distilling state-of-the-art transformer models into lightweight student models is an effective way to reduce computation cost at inference time. The student models are typically compact transformers with fewer parameters, while expensive operations such as self-attention persist. Therefore, the improved inference speed may still be unsatisfactory for real-time or high-volume use cases. In this paper, we aim to further push the limit of inference speed by distilling teacher models into bigger, sparser student models – bigger in that they scale up to billions of parameters; sparser in that most of the model parameters are n-gram embeddings. Our experiments on six single-sentence text classification tasks show that these student models retain 97% of the RoBERTa-Large teacher performance on average, and meanwhile achieve up to 600x speed-up on both GPUs and CPUs at inference time. Further investigation reveals that our pipeline is also helpful for sentence-pair classification tasks, and in domain generalization settings.

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Quantifying Adaptability in Pre-trained Language Models with 500 Tasks
Belinda Li | Jane Yu | Madian Khabsa | Luke Zettlemoyer | Alon Halevy | Jacob Andreas
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

When a neural language model (LM) is adapted to perform a new task, what aspects of the task predict the eventual performance of the model? In NLP, systematic features of LM generalization to individual examples are well characterized, but systematic aspects of LM adaptability to new tasks are not nearly as well understood. We present a large-scale empirical study of the features and limits of LM adaptability using a new benchmark, TaskBench500, built from 500 procedurally generated sequence modeling tasks. These tasks combine core aspects of language processing, including lexical semantics, sequence processing, memorization, logical reasoning, and world knowledge. Using TaskBench500, we evaluate three facets of adaptability, finding that: (1) adaptation procedures differ dramatically in their ability to memorize small datasets; (2) within a subset of task types, adaptation procedures exhibit compositional adaptability to complex tasks; and (3) failure to match training label distributions is explained by mismatches in the intrinsic difficulty of predicting individual labels. Our experiments show that adaptability to new tasks, like generalization to new examples, can be systematically described and understood, and we conclude with a discussion of additional aspects of adaptability that could be studied using the new benchmark.


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On Unifying Misinformation Detection
Nayeon Lee | Belinda Z. Li | Sinong Wang | Pascale Fung | Hao Ma | Wen-tau Yih | Madian Khabsa
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

In this paper, we introduce UnifiedM2, a general-purpose misinformation model that jointly models multiple domains of misinformation with a single, unified setup. The model is trained to handle four tasks: detecting news bias, clickbait, fake news, and verifying rumors. By grouping these tasks together, UnifiedM2 learns a richer representation of misinformation, which leads to state-of-the-art or comparable performance across all tasks. Furthermore, we demonstrate that UnifiedM2’s learned representation is helpful for few-shot learning of unseen misinformation tasks/datasets and the model’s generalizability to unseen events.

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On the Influence of Masking Policies in Intermediate Pre-training
Qinyuan Ye | Belinda Z. Li | Sinong Wang | Benjamin Bolte | Hao Ma | Wen-tau Yih | Xiang Ren | Madian Khabsa
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Current NLP models are predominantly trained through a two-stage “pre-train then fine-tune” pipeline. Prior work has shown that inserting an intermediate pre-training stage, using heuristic masking policies for masked language modeling (MLM), can significantly improve final performance. However, it is still unclear (1) in what cases such intermediate pre-training is helpful, (2) whether hand-crafted heuristic objectives are optimal for a given task, and (3) whether a masking policy designed for one task is generalizable beyond that task. In this paper, we perform a large-scale empirical study to investigate the effect of various masking policies in intermediate pre-training with nine selected tasks across three categories. Crucially, we introduce methods to automate the discovery of optimal masking policies via direct supervision or meta-learning. We conclude that the success of intermediate pre-training is dependent on appropriate pre-train corpus, selection of output format (i.e., masked spans or full sentence), and clear understanding of the role that MLM plays for the downstream task. In addition, we find our learned masking policies outperform the heuristic of masking named entities on TriviaQA, and policies learned from one task can positively transfer to other tasks in certain cases, inviting future research in this direction.


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Language Models as Fact Checkers?
Nayeon Lee | Belinda Z. Li | Sinong Wang | Wen-tau Yih | Hao Ma | Madian Khabsa
Proceedings of the Third Workshop on Fact Extraction and VERification (FEVER)

Recent work has suggested that language models (LMs) store both common-sense and factual knowledge learned from pre-training data. In this paper, we leverage this implicit knowledge to create an effective end-to-end fact checker using a solely a language model, without any external knowledge or explicit retrieval components. While previous work on extracting knowledge from LMs have focused on the task of open-domain question answering, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first work to examine the use of language models as fact checkers. In a closed-book setting, we show that our zero-shot LM approach outperforms a random baseline on the standard FEVER task, and that our finetuned LM compares favorably with standard baselines. Though we do not ultimately outperform methods which use explicit knowledge bases, we believe our exploration shows that this method is viable and has much room for exploration.

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To Pretrain or Not to Pretrain: Examining the Benefits of Pretrainng on Resource Rich Tasks
Sinong Wang | Madian Khabsa | Hao Ma
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Pretraining NLP models with variants of Masked Language Model (MLM) objectives has recently led to a significant improvements on many tasks. This paper examines the benefits of pretrained models as a function of the number of training samples used in the downstream task. On several text classification tasks, we show that as the number of training examples grow into the millions, the accuracy gap between finetuning BERT-based model and training vanilla LSTM from scratch narrows to within 1%. Our findings indicate that MLM-based models might reach a diminishing return point as the supervised data size increases significantly.


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Keeping Notes: Conditional Natural Language Generation with a Scratchpad Encoder
Ryan Benmalek | Madian Khabsa | Suma Desu | Claire Cardie | Michele Banko
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

We introduce the Scratchpad Mechanism, a novel addition to the sequence-to-sequence (seq2seq) neural network architecture and demonstrate its effectiveness in improving the overall fluency of seq2seq models for natural language generation tasks. By enabling the decoder at each time step to write to all of the encoder output layers, Scratchpad can employ the encoder as a “scratchpad” memory to keep track of what has been generated so far and thereby guide future generation. We evaluate Scratchpad in the context of three well-studied natural language generation tasks — Machine Translation, Question Generation, and Text Summarization — and obtain state-of-the-art or comparable performance on standard datasets for each task. Qualitative assessments in the form of human judgements (question generation), attention visualization (MT), and sample output (summarization) provide further evidence of the ability of Scratchpad to generate fluent and expressive output.