Sungdong Kim


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Gradient Ascent Post-training Enhances Language Model Generalization
Dongkeun Yoon | Joel Jang | Sungdong Kim | Minjoon Seo
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

In this work, we empirically show that updating pretrained LMs (350M, 1.3B, 2.7B) with just a few steps of Gradient Ascent Post-training (GAP) on random, unlabeled text corpora enhances its zero-shot generalization capabilities across diverse NLP tasks. Specifically, we show that GAP can allow LMs to become comparable to 2-3x times larger LMs across 12 different NLP tasks. We also show that applying GAP on out-of-distribution corpora leads to the most reliable performance improvements. Our findings indicate that GAP can be a promising method for improving the generalization capability of LMs without any task-specific fine-tuning.

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Tree of Clarifications: Answering Ambiguous Questions with Retrieval-Augmented Large Language Models
Gangwoo Kim | Sungdong Kim | Byeongguk Jeon | Joonsuk Park | Jaewoo Kang
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Questions in open-domain question answering are often ambiguous, allowing multiple interpretations. One approach to handling them is to identify all possible interpretations of the ambiguous question (AQ) and to generate a long-form answer addressing them all, as suggested by Stelmakh et al., (2022). While it provides a comprehensive response without bothering the user for clarification, considering multiple dimensions of ambiguity and gathering corresponding knowledge remains a challenge. To cope with the challenge, we propose a novel framework, Tree of Clarifications (ToC): It recursively constructs a tree of disambiguations for the AQ—via few-shot prompting leveraging external knowledge—and uses it to generate a long-form answer. ToC outperforms existing baselines on ASQA in a few-shot setup across the metrics, while surpassing fully-supervised baselines trained on the whole training set in terms of Disambig-F1 and Disambig-ROUGE. Code is available at

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Aligning Large Language Models through Synthetic Feedback
Sungdong Kim | Sanghwan Bae | Jamin Shin | Soyoung Kang | Donghyun Kwak | Kang Yoo | Minjoon Seo
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Aligning large language models (LLMs) to human values has become increasingly important as it enables sophisticated steering of LLMs. However, it requires significant human demonstrations and feedback or distillation from proprietary LLMs such as ChatGPT. In this work, we propose a novel alignment learning framework with synthetic feedback not dependent on extensive human annotations and proprietary LLMs. First, we perform reward modeling (RM) with synthetic feedback by contrasting responses from vanilla LLMs with various sizes and prompts. Then, we use the RM to simulate high-quality demonstrations to train a supervised policy and further optimize the model with reinforcement learning. Our resulting model, Aligned Language Model with Synthetic Training dataset (ALMoST), outperforms recent open-sourced models, which are trained on the outputs of InstructGPT or human-annotated demonstrations, in alignment benchmarks. In human evaluation, our model is preferred to Alpaca and Dolly-v2, 55.0% and 58.5% of the time, respectively. Further analyses demonstrate the efficacy and importance of synthetic feedback in our framework.


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Generating Information-Seeking Conversations from Unlabeled Documents
Gangwoo Kim | Sungdong Kim | Kang Min Yoo | Jaewoo Kang
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Synthesizing datasets for conversational question answering (CQA) from unlabeled documents remains challenging due to its interactive nature. Moreover, while modeling information needs is an essential key, only few studies have discussed it. In this paper, we introduce a novel framework, **SimSeek**, (**Sim**ulating information-**Seek**ing conversation from unlabeled documents), and compare its two variants. In our baseline, **SimSeek-sym**, a questioner generates follow-up questions upon the predetermined answer by an answerer. On the contrary, **SimSeek-asym** first generates the question and then finds its corresponding answer under the conversational context. Our experiments show that they can synthesize effective training resources for CQA and conversational search tasks. As a result, conversations from **SimSeek-asym** not only make more improvements in our experiments but also are favorably reviewed in a human evaluation. We finally release a large-scale resource of synthetic conversations, **Wiki-SimSeek**, containing 2 million CQA pairs built upon Wikipedia documents. With the dataset, our CQA model achieves the state-of-the-art performance on a recent CQA benchmark, QuAC.The code and dataset are available at

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Saving Dense Retriever from Shortcut Dependency in Conversational Search
Sungdong Kim | Gangwoo Kim
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Conversational search (CS) needs a holistic understanding of conversational inputs to retrieve relevant passages. In this paper, we demonstrate the existence of a retrieval shortcut in CS, which causes models to retrieve passages solely relying on partial history while disregarding the latest question. With in-depth analysis, we first show that naively trained dense retrievers heavily exploit the shortcut and hence perform poorly when asked to answer history-independent questions. To build more robust models against shortcut dependency, we explore various hard negative mining strategies. Experimental results show that training with the model-based hard negatives effectively mitigates the dependency on the shortcut, significantly improving dense retrievers on recent CS benchmarks. In particular, our retriever outperforms the previous state-of-the-art model by 11.0 in Recall@10 on QReCC.

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Keep Me Updated! Memory Management in Long-term Conversations
Sanghwan Bae | Donghyun Kwak | Soyoung Kang | Min Young Lee | Sungdong Kim | Yuin Jeong | Hyeri Kim | Sang-Woo Lee | Woomyoung Park | Nako Sung
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Remembering important information from the past and continuing to talk about it in the present are crucial in long-term conversations. However, previous literature does not deal with cases where the memorized information is outdated, which may cause confusion in later conversations. To address this issue, we present a novel task and a corresponding dataset of memory management in long-term conversations, in which bots keep track of and bring up the latest information about users while conversing through multiple sessions. In order to support more precise and interpretable memory, we represent memory as unstructured text descriptions of key information and propose a new mechanism of memory management that selectively eliminates invalidated or redundant information. Experimental results show that our approach outperforms the baselines that leave the stored memory unchanged in terms of engagingness and humanness, with larger performance gap especially in the later sessions.

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Building a Role Specified Open-Domain Dialogue System Leveraging Large-Scale Language Models
Sanghwan Bae | Donghyun Kwak | Sungdong Kim | Donghoon Ham | Soyoung Kang | Sang-Woo Lee | Woomyoung Park
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Recent open-domain dialogue models have brought numerous breakthroughs. However, building a chat system is not scalable since it often requires a considerable volume of human-human dialogue data, especially when enforcing features such as persona, style, or safety. In this work, we study the challenge of imposing roles on open-domain dialogue systems, with the goal of making the systems maintain consistent roles while conversing naturally with humans. To accomplish this, the system must satisfy a role specification that includes certain conditions on the stated features as well as a system policy on whether or not certain types of utterances are allowed. For this, we propose an efficient data collection framework leveraging in-context few-shot learning of large-scale language models for building role-satisfying dialogue dataset from scratch. We then compare various architectures for open-domain dialogue systems in terms of meeting role specifications while maintaining conversational abilities. Automatic and human evaluations show that our models return few out-of-bounds utterances, keeping competitive performance on general metrics. We release a Korean dialogue dataset we built for further research.

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On the Effect of Pretraining Corpora on In-context Learning by a Large-scale Language Model
Seongjin Shin | Sang-Woo Lee | Hwijeen Ahn | Sungdong Kim | HyoungSeok Kim | Boseop Kim | Kyunghyun Cho | Gichang Lee | Woomyoung Park | Jung-Woo Ha | Nako Sung
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Many recent studies on large-scale language models have reported successful in-context zero- and few-shot learning ability. However, the in-depth analysis of when in-context learning occurs is still lacking. For example, it is unknown how in-context learning performance changes as the training corpus varies. Here, we investigate the effects of the source and size of the pretraining corpus on in-context learning in HyperCLOVA, a Korean-centric GPT-3 model. From our in-depth investigation, we introduce the following observations: (1) in-context learning performance heavily depends on the corpus domain source, and the size of the pretraining corpus does not necessarily determine the emergence of in-context learning, (2) in-context learning ability can emerge when a language model is trained on a combination of multiple corpora, even when each corpus does not result in in-context learning on its own, (3) pretraining with a corpus related to a downstream task does not always guarantee the competitive in-context learning performance of the downstream task, especially in the few-shot setting, and (4) the relationship between language modeling (measured in perplexity) and in-context learning does not always correlate: e.g., low perplexity does not always imply high in-context few-shot learning performance.


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NeuralWOZ: Learning to Collect Task-Oriented Dialogue via Model-Based Simulation
Sungdong Kim | Minsuk Chang | Sang-Woo Lee
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We propose NeuralWOZ, a novel dialogue collection framework that uses model-based dialogue simulation. NeuralWOZ has two pipelined models, Collector and Labeler. Collector generates dialogues from (1) user’s goal instructions, which are the user context and task constraints in natural language, and (2) system’s API call results, which is a list of possible query responses for user requests from the given knowledge base. Labeler annotates the generated dialogue by formulating the annotation as a multiple-choice problem, in which the candidate labels are extracted from goal instructions and API call results. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method in the zero-shot domain transfer learning for dialogue state tracking. In the evaluation, the synthetic dialogue corpus generated from NeuralWOZ achieves a new state-of-the-art with improvements of 4.4% point joint goal accuracy on average across domains, and improvements of 5.7% point of zero-shot coverage against the MultiWOZ 2.1 dataset.

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Can Language Models be Biomedical Knowledge Bases?
Mujeen Sung | Jinhyuk Lee | Sean Yi | Minji Jeon | Sungdong Kim | Jaewoo Kang
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Pre-trained language models (LMs) have become ubiquitous in solving various natural language processing (NLP) tasks. There has been increasing interest in what knowledge these LMs contain and how we can extract that knowledge, treating LMs as knowledge bases (KBs). While there has been much work on probing LMs in the general domain, there has been little attention to whether these powerful LMs can be used as domain-specific KBs. To this end, we create the BioLAMA benchmark, which is comprised of 49K biomedical factual knowledge triples for probing biomedical LMs. We find that biomedical LMs with recently proposed probing methods can achieve up to 18.51% Acc@5 on retrieving biomedical knowledge. Although this seems promising given the task difficulty, our detailed analyses reveal that most predictions are highly correlated with prompt templates without any subjects, hence producing similar results on each relation and hindering their capabilities to be used as domain-specific KBs. We hope that BioLAMA can serve as a challenging benchmark for biomedical factual probing.


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Efficient Dialogue State Tracking by Selectively Overwriting Memory
Sungdong Kim | Sohee Yang | Gyuwan Kim | Sang-Woo Lee
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Recent works in dialogue state tracking (DST) focus on an open vocabulary-based setting to resolve scalability and generalization issues of the predefined ontology-based approaches. However, they are inefficient in that they predict the dialogue state at every turn from scratch. Here, we consider dialogue state as an explicit fixed-sized memory and propose a selectively overwriting mechanism for more efficient DST. This mechanism consists of two steps: (1) predicting state operation on each of the memory slots, and (2) overwriting the memory with new values, of which only a few are generated according to the predicted state operations. Our method decomposes DST into two sub-tasks and guides the decoder to focus only on one of the tasks, thus reducing the burden of the decoder. This enhances the effectiveness of training and DST performance. Our SOM-DST (Selectively Overwriting Memory for Dialogue State Tracking) model achieves state-of-the-art joint goal accuracy with 51.72% in MultiWOZ 2.0 and 53.01% in MultiWOZ 2.1 in an open vocabulary-based DST setting. In addition, we analyze the accuracy gaps between the current and the ground truth-given situations and suggest that it is a promising direction to improve state operation prediction to boost the DST performance.