Out-of-Distribution Detection and Selective Generation for Conditional Language ModelsDownload PDF

Published: 01 Feb 2023, 19:20, Last Modified: 28 Feb 2023, 00:00ICLR 2023 notable top 25%Readers: Everyone
Keywords: Out-of-distribution Detection, Natural Language Generation, Selective Generation, Uncertainty
TL;DR: A simple, fast, effective method for out-of-distribution detection and selective generation for conditional language models.
Abstract: Machine learning algorithms typically assume independent and identically distributed samples in training and at test time (IID). Much work has shown that high-performing ML classifiers can degrade significantly and provide overly-confident, wrong classification predictions, particularly for out-of-distribution (OOD) inputs. Conditional language models (CLMs) are predominantly trained to classify the next token in an output sequence, and may suffer even worse degradation on OOD inputs as the prediction is done auto-regressively over many steps. Furthermore, the space of potential low-quality outputs is larger as arbitrary text can be generated and it is important to know when to trust the generated output. We present a highly accurate and lightweight OOD detection method for CLMs, and demonstrate its effectiveness on abstractive summarization and translation. We also show how our method can be used under the common and realistic setting of distribution shift for selective generation (analogous to selective prediction for classification) of high-quality outputs, while automatically abstaining from low-quality ones, enabling safer deployment of generative language models.
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