Calibrating Sequence likelihood Improves Conditional Language GenerationDownload PDF

Published: 01 Feb 2023, Last Modified: 02 Mar 2023ICLR 2023 posterReaders: Everyone
Keywords: Natural Language Processing, conditional language models, sequence-to-sequence, text generation
TL;DR: A proposed sequence likelihood calibration stage improves fine-tuned conditional language models, leading to new state-of-the-art results in abstractive summarization, question generation, abstractive question answering and data-to-text.
Abstract: Conditional language models are predominantly trained with maximum likelihood estimation (MLE), giving probability mass to sparsely observed target sequences. While MLE trained models assign high probability to plausible sequences given the context, the model probabilities often do not accurately rank-order generated sequences by quality. This has been empirically observed in beam search decoding as output quality degrading with large beam sizes, and decoding strategies benefiting from heuristics such as length normalization and repetition-blocking. In this work, we introduce sequence likelihood calibration (SLiC) where the likelihood of model generated sequences are calibrated to better align with reference sequences in the model’s latent space. With SLiC, decoding heuristics become unnecessary and decoding candidates’ quality significantly improves regardless of the decoding method. Furthermore, SLiC shows no sign of diminishing returns with model scale, and presents alternative ways to improve quality with limited training and inference budgets. With SLiC, we exceed or match SOTA results on a wide range of generation tasks spanning abstractive summarization, question generation, abstractive question answering and data-to-text generation, even with modest-sized models.
Anonymous Url: I certify that there is no URL (e.g., github page) that could be used to find authors’ identity.
No Acknowledgement Section: I certify that there is no acknowledgement section in this submission for double blind review.
Code Of Ethics: I acknowledge that I and all co-authors of this work have read and commit to adhering to the ICLR Code of Ethics
Submission Guidelines: Yes
Please Choose The Closest Area That Your Submission Falls Into: Applications (eg, speech processing, computer vision, NLP)
9 Replies