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  1. Large language models like GPT-4 exhibit emergent capabilities across general-purpose tasks, such as basic arithmetic, when trained on extensive text data, even though these tasks are not explicitly encoded by the unsupervised, next-token prediction objective. This study investigates how even small transformers, trained from random initialization, can efficiently learn arithmetic operations such as addition, multiplication, and elementary functions like square root, using the next-token prediction objective. We first demonstrate that conventional training data is not the most effective for arithmetic learning, and simple formatting changes can significantly improve accuracy. This leads to sharp phase transitions as a function of training data scale, which, in some cases, can be explained through connections to low-rank matrix completion. Building on prior work, we then train on chain-of-thought style data that includes intermediate step results. Even in the complete absence of pretraining, this approach significantly and simultaneously improves accuracy, sample complexity, and convergence speed. We also study the interplay between arithmetic and text data during training and examine the effects of few-shot prompting, pretraining, and parameter scaling. Additionally, we discuss the challenges associated with length generalization. Our work highlights the importance of high-quality, instructive data that considers the particular characteristics of the next-word prediction loss for rapidly eliciting arithmetic capabilities. 
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  2. The more new features that are being added to smartphones, the harder it becomes for users to find them. This is because the feature names are usually short and there are just too many of them for the users to remember the exact words. The users are more comfortable asking contextual queries that describe the features they are looking for, but the standard term frequency-based search cannot process them. This paper presents a novel retrieval system for mobile features that accepts intuitive and contextual search queries. We trained a relevance model via contrastive learning from a pre-trained language model to perceive the contextual relevance between a query embedding and indexed mobile features. Also, to make it efficiently run on-device using minimal resources, we applied knowledge distillation to compress the model without degrading much performance. To verify the feasibility of our method, we collected test queries and conducted comparative experiments with the currently deployed search baselines. The results show that our system outperforms the others on contextual sentence queries and even on usual keyword-based queries. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 27, 2024
  3. Minimizing risk with fairness constraints is one of the popular approaches to learning a fair classifier. Recent works showed that this approach yields an unfair classifier if the training set is corrupted. In this work, we study the minimum amount of data corruption required for a successful flipping attack. First, we find lower/upper bounds on this quantity and show that these bounds are tight when the target model is the unique unconstrained risk minimizer. Second, we propose a computationally efficient data poisoning attack algorithm that can compromise the performance of fair learning algorithms. 
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  4. Meila, Marina ; Zhang, Tong (Ed.)
    Incorporating graph side information into recommender systems has been widely used to better predict ratings, but relatively few works have focused on theoretical guarantees. Ahn et al. (2018) firstly characterized the optimal sample complexity in the presence of graph side information, but the results are limited due to strict, unrealistic assumptions made on the unknown latent preference matrix and the structure of user clusters. In this work, we propose a new model in which 1) the unknown latent preference matrix can have any discrete values, and 2) users can be clustered into multiple clusters, thereby relaxing the assumptions made in prior work. Under this new model, we fully characterize the optimal sample complexity and develop a computationally-efficient algorithm that matches the optimal sample complexity. Our algorithm is robust to model errors and outperforms the existing algorithms in terms of prediction performance on both synthetic and real data. 
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  5. Large neural networks can be pruned to a small fraction of their original size, with little loss in accuracy, by following a time-consuming "train, prune, re-train" approach. Frankle & Carbin conjecture that we can avoid this by training lottery tickets, i.e., special sparse subnetworks found at initialization, that can be trained to high accuracy. However, a subsequent line of work presents concrete evidence that current algorithms for finding trainable networks at initialization, fail simple baseline comparisons, e.g., against training random sparse subnetworks. Finding lottery tickets that train to better accuracy compared to simple baselines remains an open problem. In this work, we resolve this open problem by proposing Gem-Miner which finds lottery tickets at initialization that beat current baselines. Gem-Miner finds lottery tickets trainable to accuracy competitive or better than Iterative Magnitude Pruning (IMP), and does so up to 19x faster. 
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  6. null (Ed.)
    Training a fair machine learning model is essential to prevent demographic disparity. Existing techniques for improving model fairness require broad changes in either data preprocessing or model training, rendering themselves difficult-to-adopt for potentially already complex machine learning systems. We address this problem via the lens of bilevel optimization. While keeping the standard training algorithm as an inner optimizer, we incorporate an outer optimizer so as to equip the inner problem with an additional functionality: Adaptively selecting minibatch sizes for the purpose of improving model fairness. Our batch selection algorithm, which we call FairBatch, implements this optimization and supports prominent fairness measures: equal opportunity, equalized odds, and demographic parity. FairBatch comes with a significant implementation benefit -- it does not require any modification to data preprocessing or model training. For instance, a single-line change of PyTorch code for replacing batch selection part of model training suffices to employ FairBatch. Our experiments conducted both on synthetic and benchmark real data demonstrate that FairBatch can provide such functionalities while achieving comparable (or even greater) performances against the state of the arts. Furthermore, FairBatch can readily improve fairness of any pre-trained model simply via fine-tuning. It is also compatible with existing batch selection techniques intended for different purposes, such as faster convergence, thus gracefully achieving multiple purposes. 
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  7. Meila, Marina ; Zhang, Tong (Ed.)
    Inspired by a new coded computation algorithm for invertible functions, we propose Coded-InvNet a new approach to design resilient prediction serving systems that can gracefully handle stragglers or node failures. Coded-InvNet leverages recent findings in the deep learning literature such as invertible neural networks, Manifold Mixup, and domain translation algorithms, identifying interesting research directions that span across machine learning and systems. Our experimental results show that Coded-InvNet can outperform existing approaches, especially when the compute resource overhead is as low as 10%. For instance, without knowing which of the ten workers is going to fail, our algorithm can design a backup task so that it can correctly recover the missing prediction result with an accuracy of 85.9%, significantly outperforming the previous SOTA by 32.5%. 
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  8. Ranzato, M. ; Beygelzimer, A. ; Liang, P.S. ; Vaughan, J.W. ; Dauphin, Y. (Ed.)
    Fairness and robustness are critical elements of Trustworthy AI that need to be addressed together. Fairness is about learning an unbiased model while robustness is about learning from corrupted data, and it is known that addressing only one of them may have an adverse affect on the other. In this work, we propose a sample selection-based algorithm for fair and robust training. To this end, we formulate a combinatorial optimization problem for the unbiased selection of samples in the presence of data corruption. Observing that solving this optimization problem is strongly NP-hard, we propose a greedy algorithm that is efficient and effective in practice. Experiments show that our method obtains fairness and robustness that are better than or comparable to the state-of-the-art technique, both on synthetic and benchmark real datasets. Moreover, unlike other fair and robust training baselines, our algorithm can be used by only modifying the sampling step in batch selection without changing the training algorithm or leveraging additional clean data. 
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