Nikunj Saunshi


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Reasoning in Large Language Models Through Symbolic Math Word Problems
Vedant Gaur | Nikunj Saunshi
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Large language models (LLMs) have revolutionized NLP by solving downstream tasks with little to no labeled data. Despite their versatile abilities, the larger question of their ability to reason remains ill-understood. This paper addresses reasoning in math word problems (MWPs) by studying symbolic versions of the numeric problems, since a symbolic expression is a “concise explanation” of the numeric answer. We create and use a symbolic version of the SVAMP dataset and find that GPT-3’s davinci-002 model also has good zero-shot accuracy on symbolic MWPs. To evaluate the faithfulness of the model’s reasoning, we go beyond accuracy and additionally evaluate the alignment between the final answer and the outputted reasoning, which correspond to numeric and symbolic answers respectively for MWPs. We explore a self-prompting approach to encourage the symbolic reasoning to align with the numeric answer, thus equipping the LLM with the ability to provide a concise and verifiable reasoning and making it more interpretable. Surprisingly, self-prompting also improves the symbolic accuracy to be higher than both the numeric and symbolic accuracies, thus providing an ensembling effect. The SVAMP-Sym dataset will be released for future research on symbolic math problems.


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A La Carte Embedding: Cheap but Effective Induction of Semantic Feature Vectors
Mikhail Khodak | Nikunj Saunshi | Yingyu Liang | Tengyu Ma | Brandon Stewart | Sanjeev Arora
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Motivations like domain adaptation, transfer learning, and feature learning have fueled interest in inducing embeddings for rare or unseen words, n-grams, synsets, and other textual features. This paper introduces a la carte embedding, a simple and general alternative to the usual word2vec-based approaches for building such representations that is based upon recent theoretical results for GloVe-like embeddings. Our method relies mainly on a linear transformation that is efficiently learnable using pretrained word vectors and linear regression. This transform is applicable on the fly in the future when a new text feature or rare word is encountered, even if only a single usage example is available. We introduce a new dataset showing how the a la carte method requires fewer examples of words in context to learn high-quality embeddings and we obtain state-of-the-art results on a nonce task and some unsupervised document classification tasks.

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A Large Self-Annotated Corpus for Sarcasm
Mikhail Khodak | Nikunj Saunshi | Kiran Vodrahalli
Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2018)