Our paper was accepted for NeurIPS 2022.
Shohei Taniguchi, Yusuke Iwasawa, Wataru Kumagai, Yutaka Matsuo. “Langevin Autoencoders for Learning Deep Latent Variable Models”, Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS 2022).
Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC), such as Langevin dynamics, is valid for approximating intractable distributions. However, its usage is limited in the context of deep latent variable models owing to costly datapoint-wise sampling iterations and slow convergence. This paper proposes the amortized Langevin dynamics (ALD), wherein datapoint-wise MCMC iterations are entirely replaced with updates of an encoder that maps observations into latent variables. This amortization enables efficient posterior sampling without datapoint-wise iterations. Despite its efficiency, we prove that ALD is valid as an MCMC algorithm, whose Markov chain has the target posterior as a stationary distribution under mild assumptions. Based on the ALD, we also present a new deep latent variable model named the Langevin autoencoder (LAE). Interestingly, the LAE can be implemented by slightly modifying the traditional autoencoder. Using multiple synthetic datasets, we first validate that ALD can properly obtain samples from target posteriors. We also evaluate the LAE on the image generation task, and show that our LAE can outperform existing methods based on variational inference, such as the variational autoencoder, and other MCMC-based methods in terms of the test likelihood.
Takeshi Kojima, Shixiang Shane Gu, Machel Reid, Yutaka Matsuo, Yusuke Iwasawa. “Large Language Models are Zero-Shot Reasoners”, Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS 2022).
Pretrained large language models (LLMs) are widely used in many sub-fields of natural language processing (NLP) and generally known as excellent few-shot learners with task-specific exemplars. Notably, chain of thought (CoT) prompting, a recent technique for eliciting complex multi-step reasoning through step-by-step answer examples, achieved the state-of-the-art performances in arithmetics and symbolic reasoning, difficult system-2 tasks that do not follow the standard scaling laws for LLMs. While these successes are often attributed to LLMs’ ability for few-shot learning, we show that LLMs are decent zero-shot reasoners by simply adding “Let’s think step by step” before each answer. Experimental results demonstrate that our Zero-shot-CoT, using the same single prompt template, significantly outperforms zero-shot LLM performances on diverse benchmark reasoning tasks including arithmetics (MultiArith, GSM8K, AQUA-RAT, SVAMP), symbolic reasoning (Last Letter, Coin Flip), and other logical reasoning tasks (Date Understanding, Tracking Shuffled Objects), without any hand-crafted few-shot examples, e.g. increasing the accuracy on MultiArith from 17.7% to 78.7% and GSM8K from 10.4% to 40.7% with 175B parameter InstructGPT model, as well as similar magnitudes of improvements with another off-the-shelf large model, 540B parameter PaLM. The versatility of this single prompt across very diverse reasoning tasks hints at untapped and understudied fundamental zero-shot capabilities of LLMs, suggesting high-level, multi-task broad cognitive capabilities may be extracted by simple prompting. We hope our work not only serves as the minimal strongest zero-shot baseline for the challenging reasoning benchmarks, but also highlights the importance of carefully exploring and analyzing the enormous zero-shot knowledge hidden inside LLMs before crafting finetuning datasets or few-shot exemplars.