Oleksii Kuchaiev


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Leveraging Synthetic Targets for Machine Translation
Sarthak Mittal | Oleksii Hrinchuk | Oleksii Kuchaiev
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

In this work, we provide a recipe for training machine translation models in a limited resource setting by leveraging synthetic target data generated using a large pre-trained model. We show that consistently across different benchmarks in bilingual, multilingual, and speech translation setups, training models on synthetic targets outperforms training on the actual ground-truth data. This performance gap grows bigger with increasing limits on the amount of available resources in the form of the size of the dataset and the number of parameters in the model. We also provide preliminary analysis into whether this boost in performance is linked to ease of optimization or more deterministic nature of the predictions, and whether this paradigm leads to better out-of-distribution performance across different testing domains.

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SteerLM: Attribute Conditioned SFT as an (User-Steerable) Alternative to RLHF
Yi Dong | Zhilin Wang | Makesh Sreedhar | Xianchao Wu | Oleksii Kuchaiev
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Model alignment with human preferences is an essential step in making Large Language Models (LLMs) helpful and consistent with human values. It typically consists of supervised fine-tuning (SFT) and reinforcement learning from human feedback (RLHF) stages. However, RLHF faces inherent limitations stemming from a complex training setup and its tendency to align the model with implicit values that end users cannot control at run-time. Moreover, reward models in RLHF stage commonly rely on single-dimensional feedback as opposed to explicit, multifaceted signals that indicate attributes such as helpfulness, humor, and toxicity. To address these limitations, we propose SteerLM, a supervised fine-tuning method that empowers end-users to control responses during inference. SteerLM conditions responses to conform to an explicitly defined multi-dimensional set of attributes, thereby empowering a steerable AI capable of generating helpful and high-quality responses while maintaining customizability. Experiments show that SteerLM trained on open source datasets generates responses that are preferred by human and automatic evaluators to many state-of-the-art baselines trained with RLHF while being much easier to train. Try SteerLM at https://huggingface.co/nvidia/SteerLM-llama2-13B

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Shall We Pretrain Autoregressive Language Models with Retrieval? A Comprehensive Study
Boxin Wang | Wei Ping | Peng Xu | Lawrence McAfee | Zihan Liu | Mohammad Shoeybi | Yi Dong | Oleksii Kuchaiev | Bo Li | Chaowei Xiao | Anima Anandkumar | Bryan Catanzaro
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Large decoder-only language models (LMs) can be largely improved in terms of perplexity by retrieval (e.g., RETRO), but its impact on text generation quality and downstream task accuracy is unclear. Thus, it is still an open question: shall we pretrain large autoregressive LMs with retrieval? To answer it, we perform a comprehensive study on a scalable pre-trained retrieval-augmented LM (i.e., RETRO) compared with standard GPT and retrieval-augmented GPT incorporated at fine-tuning or inference stages. We first provide the recipe to reproduce RETRO up to 9.5B parameters while retrieving a text corpus with 330B tokens. Based on that, we have the following novel findings: i) RETRO outperforms GPT on text generation with much less degeneration (i.e., repetition), moderately higher factual accuracy, and slightly lower toxicity with a nontoxic retrieval database. ii) On the LM Evaluation Harness benchmark, RETRO largely outperforms GPT on knowledge-intensive tasks, but is on par with GPT on other tasks. Furthermore, we introduce a simple variant of the model, RETRO++, which largely improves open-domain QA results of original RETRO (e.g., EM score +8.6 on Natural Question) and significantly outperforms retrieval-augmented GPT across different model sizes. Our findings highlight the promising direction of pretraining autoregressive LMs with retrieval as future foundation models. We release our implementation at: https://github.com/NVIDIA/Megatron-LM/tree/main/tools/retro.


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NVIDIA NeMo Offline Speech Translation Systems for IWSLT 2022
Oleksii Hrinchuk | Vahid Noroozi | Abhinav Khattar | Anton Peganov | Sandeep Subramanian | Somshubra Majumdar | Oleksii Kuchaiev
Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2022)

This paper provides an overview of NVIDIA NeMo’s speech translation systems for the IWSLT 2022 Offline Speech Translation Task. Our cascade system consists of 1) Conformer RNN-T automatic speech recognition model, 2) punctuation-capitalization model based on pre-trained T5 encoder, 3) ensemble of Transformer neural machine translation models fine-tuned on TED talks. Our end-to-end model has less parameters and consists of Conformer encoder and Transformer decoder. It relies on the cascade system by re-using its pre-trained ASR encoder and training on synthetic translations generated with the ensemble of NMT models. Our En->De cascade and end-to-end systems achieve 29.7 and 26.2 BLEU on the 2020 test set correspondingly, both outperforming the previous year’s best of 26 BLEU.


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NVIDIA NeMo’s Neural Machine Translation Systems for English-German and English-Russian News and Biomedical Tasks at WMT21
Sandeep Subramanian | Oleksii Hrinchuk | Virginia Adams | Oleksii Kuchaiev
Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Machine Translation

This paper provides an overview of NVIDIA NeMo’s neural machine translation systems for the constrained data track of the WMT21 News and Biomedical Shared Translation Tasks. Our news task submissions for English-German (En-De) and English-Russian (En-Ru) are built on top of a baseline transformer-based sequence-to-sequence model (CITATION). Specifically, we use a combination of 1) checkpoint averaging 2) model scaling 3) data augmentation with backtranslation and knowledge distillation from right-to-left factorized models 4) finetuning on test sets from previous years 5) model ensembling 6) shallow fusion decoding with transformer language models and 7) noisy channel re-ranking. Additionally, our biomedical task submission for English Russian uses a biomedically biased vocabulary and is trained from scratch on news task data, medically relevant text curated from the news task dataset, and biomedical data provided by the shared task. Our news system achieves a sacreBLEU score of 39.5 on the WMT’20 En-De test set outperforming the best submission from last year’s task of 38.8. Our biomedical task Ru-En and En-Ru systems reach BLEU scores of 43.8 and 40.3 respectively on the WMT’20 Biomedical Task Test set, outperforming the previous year’s best submissions.


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OpenSeq2Seq: Extensible Toolkit for Distributed and Mixed Precision Training of Sequence-to-Sequence Models
Oleksii Kuchaiev | Boris Ginsburg | Igor Gitman | Vitaly Lavrukhin | Carl Case | Paulius Micikevicius
Proceedings of Workshop for NLP Open Source Software (NLP-OSS)

We present OpenSeq2Seq – an open-source toolkit for training sequence-to-sequence models. The main goal of our toolkit is to allow researchers to most effectively explore different sequence-to-sequence architectures. The efficiency is achieved by fully supporting distributed and mixed-precision training. OpenSeq2Seq provides building blocks for training encoder-decoder models for neural machine translation and automatic speech recognition. We plan to extend it with other modalities in the future.