Holistic Evaluation of Language Models

Published: 23 Aug 2023, Last Modified: 02 Apr 2024Accepted by TMLREveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Authors that are also TMLR Expert Reviewers: ~Tianyi_Zhang2
Event Certifications: iclr.cc/ICLR/2024/Journal_Track
Abstract: Language models (LMs) are becoming the foundation for almost all major language technologies, but their capabilities, limitations, and risks are not well understood. We present Holistic Evaluation of Language Models (HELM) to improve the transparency of language models. First, we taxonomize the vast space of potential scenarios (i.e. use cases) and metrics (i.e. desiderata) that are of interest for LMs. Then we select a broad subset based on coverage and feasibility, noting what’s missing or underrepresented (e.g. question answering for neglected English dialects, metrics for trustworthiness). Second, we adopt a multi-metric approach: We measure 7 metrics (accuracy, calibration, robustness, fairness, bias, toxicity, and efficiency) for each of 16 core scenarios to the extent possible (87.5% of the time), ensuring that metrics beyond accuracy don’t fall to the wayside, and that trade-offs across models and metrics are clearly exposed. We also perform 7 targeted evaluations, based on 26 targeted scenarios, to more deeply analyze specific aspects (e.g. knowledge, reasoning, memorization/copyright, disinformation). Third, we conduct a large-scale evaluation of 30 prominent language models (spanning open, limited-access, and closed models) on all 42 scenarios, including 21 scenarios that were not previously used in mainstream LM evaluation. Prior to HELM, models on average were evaluated on just 17.9% of the core HELM scenarios, with some prominent models not sharing a single scenario in common. We improve this to 96.0%: now all 30 models have been densely benchmarked on a set of core scenarios and metrics under standardized conditions. Our evaluation surfaces 25 top-level findings concerning the interplay between different scenarios, metrics, and models. For full transparency, we release all raw model prompts and completions publicly for further analysis, as well as a general modular toolkit for easily adding new scenarios, models, metrics, and prompting strategies. We intend for HELM to be a living benchmark for the community, continuously updated with new scenarios, metrics, and models.
Certifications: Featured Certification, Expert Certification
Submission Length: Long submission (more than 12 pages of main content)
Changes Since Last Submission: Changes (v5; corresponding to camera-ready revisions from AE). The paper has been updated for camera-ready by making the following changes: 1. Add a footnote in relation to author contributions. 2. Add emails for correspondence for the three lead authors. 3. Re-format the author block into a single line to conform with TMLR style guidelines.
Assigned Action Editor: ~Karthik_R_Narasimhan1
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Submission Number: 775