Tailoring Self-Rationalizers with Multi-Reward Distillation

Published: 16 Jan 2024, Last Modified: 15 Mar 2024ICLR 2024 posterEveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
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Keywords: large language models, rationalization, explanation generation, explainability, rationale generation
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TL;DR: Multi-reward conditioned algorithm that makes small LMs stronger rationalizers.
Abstract: Large language models (LMs) are capable of generating free-text rationales to aid question answering. However, prior work 1) suggests that useful self-rationalization is emergent only at significant scales (e.g., 175B parameter GPT-3); and 2) focuses largely on downstream performance, ignoring the semantics of the rationales themselves, e.g., are they faithful, true, and helpful for humans? In this work, we enable small-scale LMs (∼200x smaller than GPT-3) to generate rationales that not only improve downstream task performance, but are also more plausible, consistent, and diverse, assessed both by automatic and human evaluation. Our method, MaRio (Multi-rewArd RatIOnalization), is a multi-reward conditioned self-rationalization algorithm that optimizes multiple distinct properties like plausibility, diversity and consistency. Results on three difficult question-answering datasets StrategyQA, QuaRel and OpenBookQA show that not only does MaRio improve task accuracy, but it also improves the self-rationalization quality of small LMs across the aforementioned axes better than a supervised fine-tuning (SFT) baseline. Extensive human evaluations confirm that MaRio rationales are preferred vs. SFT rationales, as well as qualitative improvements in plausibility and consistency.
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Primary Area: representation learning for computer vision, audio, language, and other modalities
Submission Number: 6506