Mirac Suzgun


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Do Language Models Know When They’re Hallucinating References?
Ayush Agrawal | Mirac Suzgun | Lester Mackey | Adam Kalai
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EACL 2024

State-of-the-art language models (LMs) are notoriously susceptible to generating hallucinated information. Such inaccurate outputs not only undermine the reliability of these models but also limit their use and raise serious concerns about misinformation and propaganda. In this work, we focus on hallucinated book and article references and present them as the “model organism” of language model hallucination research, due to their frequent and easy-to-discern nature. We posit that if a language model cites a particular reference in its output, then it should ideally possess sufficient information about its authors and content, among other relevant details. Using this basic insight, we illustrate that one can identify hallucinated references without ever consulting any external resources, by asking a set of direct or indirect queries to the language model about the references. These queries can be considered as “consistency checks.” Our findings highlight that while LMs, including GPT-4, often produce inconsistent author lists for hallucinated references, they also often accurately recall the authors of real references. In this sense, the LM can be said to “know” when it is hallucinating references. Furthermore, these findings show how hallucinated references can be dissected to shed light on their nature.


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When Do Pre-Training Biases Propagate to Downstream Tasks? A Case Study in Text Summarization
Faisal Ladhak | Esin Durmus | Mirac Suzgun | Tianyi Zhang | Dan Jurafsky | Kathleen McKeown | Tatsunori Hashimoto
Proceedings of the 17th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Large language models (LLMs) are subject to sociocultural and other biases previously identified using intrinsic evaluations. However, when and how these intrinsic biases in pre-trained LM representations propagate to downstream, fine-tuned NLP tasks like summarization is not well understood. In this work, we investigate one type of bias—name-nationality bias—and trace it from the pre-training stage to a downstream summarization task across multiple summarization modeling choices. We show that these biases manifest themselves as hallucinations in summarization, leading to factually incorrect summaries. We also find that this propagation of biases is algorithm-dependent: more abstractive models allow biases to propagate more directly to downstream tasks as hallucinated facts. Building on these observations, we further analyze how changes to the adaptation method and fine-tuning data set affect name nationality biases and show that while they can reduce the overall rate of hallucinations, they do not change the types of biases that do appear.

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Follow the Wisdom of the Crowd: Effective Text Generation via Minimum Bayes Risk Decoding
Mirac Suzgun | Luke Melas-Kyriazi | Dan Jurafsky
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

In open-ended natural-language generation, existing text decoding methods typically struggle to produce text which is both diverse and high-quality. Greedy and beam search are known to suffer from text degeneration and linguistic diversity issues, while temperature, top-k, and nucleus sampling yield diverse but often lower-quality outputs. In this work, we build upon Minimum Bayes Risk Decoding (MBRD), a family of decoding methods based on Bayesian risk minimization, to address this diversity-quality trade-off. Inspired by the principle of the wisdom of the crowd, MBRD seeks to select a candidate from a pool of candidates that has the least expected risk under a generative model according to a given utility function. The crowd of candidates serves as an approximation for the distribution over human-generated references. We show that MBRD generalizes numerous decoding methods, including majority voting, and can be used as a drop-in replacement for existing sampling methods. Across a wide range of tasks—such as summarization, data-to-text, translation, and textual style transfer—MBRD yields 3-7 ROUGE and BLEU point improvements, including state-of-the-art results on WebNLG and WMT’16.

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Challenging BIG-Bench Tasks and Whether Chain-of-Thought Can Solve Them
Mirac Suzgun | Nathan Scales | Nathanael Schärli | Sebastian Gehrmann | Yi Tay | Hyung Won Chung | Aakanksha Chowdhery | Quoc Le | Ed Chi | Denny Zhou | Jason Wei
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

BIG-Bench (Srivastava et al., 2022) is a diverse evaluation suite that focuses on tasks believed to be beyond the capabilities of current language models. Language models have already made good progress on this benchmark, with the best model in the BIG-Bench paper outperforming average reported human-rater results on 65% of the BIG-Bench tasks via few-shot prompting. But on what tasks do language models fall short of average human-rater performance, and are those tasks actually unsolvable by current language models? In this work, we focus on a suite of 23 challenging BIG-Bench tasks which we call BIG-Bench Hard (BBH). These are the tasks for which prior language model evaluations did not outperform the average human-rater. We find that applying chain-of-thought (CoT) prompting to BBH tasks enables PaLM to surpass the average human-rater performance on 10 of the 23 tasks, and Codex (code-davinci-002) to surpass the average human-rater performance on 17 of the 23 tasks. Since many tasks in BBH require multi-step reasoning, few-shot prompting without CoT, as done in the BIG-Bench evaluations (Srivastava et al., 2022), substantially underestimates the best performance and capabilities of language models, which is better captured via CoT prompting. As further analysis, we explore the interaction between CoT and model scale on BBH, finding that CoT enables emergent task performance on several BBH tasks with otherwise flat scaling curves.


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Monte Carlo Tree Search for Interpreting Stress in Natural Language
Kyle Swanson | Joy Hsu | Mirac Suzgun
Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Language Technology for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Natural language processing can facilitate the analysis of a person’s mental state from text they have written. Previous studies have developed models that can predict whether a person is experiencing a mental health condition from social media posts with high accuracy. Yet, these models cannot explain why the person is experiencing a particular mental state. In this work, we present a new method for explaining a person’s mental state from text using Monte Carlo tree search (MCTS). Our MCTS algorithm employs trained classification models to guide the search for key phrases that explain the writer’s mental state in a concise, interpretable manner. Furthermore, our algorithm can find both explanations that depend on the particular context of the text (e.g., a recent breakup) and those that are context-independent. Using a dataset of Reddit posts that exhibit stress, we demonstrate the ability of our MCTS algorithm to identify interpretable explanations for a person’s feeling of stress in both a context-dependent and context-independent manner.

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Prompt-and-Rerank: A Method for Zero-Shot and Few-Shot Arbitrary Textual Style Transfer with Small Language Models
Mirac Suzgun | Luke Melas-Kyriazi | Dan Jurafsky
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

We propose a method for arbitrary textual style transfer (TST)—the task of transforming a text into any given style—utilizing general-purpose pre-trained language models. Our method, Prompt-and-Rerank, is based on a mathematical formulation of the TST task, decomposing it into three constituent components: textual similarity, target style strength, and fluency. Our method uses zero-shot or few-shot prompting to obtain a set of candidate generations in the target style, and then re-ranks them according to the three components. Our method enables small pre-trained language models to perform on par with state-of-the-art large-scale models while using two orders of magnitude less compute and memory. We also investigate the effect of model size and prompt design (e.g., prompt paraphrasing and delimiter-pair choice) on style transfer quality across seven diverse textual style transfer datasets, finding, among other things, that delimiter-pair choice has a large impact on performance, and that models have biases on the direction of style transfer.


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On Evaluating the Generalization of LSTM Models in Formal Languages
Mirac Suzgun | Yonatan Belinkov | Stuart M. Shieber
Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics (SCiL) 2019

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LSTM Networks Can Perform Dynamic Counting
Mirac Suzgun | Yonatan Belinkov | Stuart Shieber | Sebastian Gehrmann
Proceedings of the Workshop on Deep Learning and Formal Languages: Building Bridges

In this paper, we systematically assess the ability of standard recurrent networks to perform dynamic counting and to encode hierarchical representations. All the neural models in our experiments are designed to be small-sized networks both to prevent them from memorizing the training sets and to visualize and interpret their behaviour at test time. Our results demonstrate that the Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) networks can learn to recognize the well-balanced parenthesis language (Dyck-1) and the shuffles of multiple Dyck-1 languages, each defined over different parenthesis-pairs, by emulating simple real-time k-counter machines. To the best of our knowledge, this work is the first study to introduce the shuffle languages to analyze the computational power of neural networks. We also show that a single-layer LSTM with only one hidden unit is practically sufficient for recognizing the Dyck-1 language. However, none of our recurrent networks was able to yield a good performance on the Dyck-2 language learning task, which requires a model to have a stack-like mechanism for recognition.