Wei Ping


Multi-Stage Prompting for Knowledgeable Dialogue Generation
Zihan Liu | Mostofa Patwary | Ryan Prenger | Shrimai Prabhumoye | Wei Ping | Mohammad Shoeybi | Bryan Catanzaro
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Existing knowledge-grounded dialogue systems typically use finetuned versions of a pretrained language model (LM) and large-scale knowledge bases. These models typically fail to generalize on topics outside of the knowledge base, and require maintaining separate potentially large checkpoints each time finetuning is needed. In this paper, we aim to address these limitations by leveraging the inherent knowledge stored in the pretrained LM as well as its powerful generation ability. We propose a multi-stage prompting approach to generate knowledgeable responses from a single pretrained LM. We first prompt the LM to generate knowledge based on the dialogue context. Then, we further prompt it to generate responses based on the dialogue context and the previously generated knowledge. Results show that our knowledge generator outperforms the state-of-the-art retrieval-based model by 5.8% when combining knowledge relevance and correctness. In addition, our multi-stage prompting outperforms the finetuning-based dialogue model in terms of response knowledgeability and engagement by up to 10% and 5%, respectively. Furthermore, we scale our model up to 530 billion parameters and demonstrate that larger LMs improve the generation correctness score by up to 10%, and response relevance, knowledgeability and engagement by up to 10%. Our code is available at: https://github.com/NVIDIA/Megatron-LM.


End-to-End Training of Neural Retrievers for Open-Domain Question Answering
Devendra Sachan | Mostofa Patwary | Mohammad Shoeybi | Neel Kant | Wei Ping | William L. Hamilton | Bryan Catanzaro
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Recent work on training neural retrievers for open-domain question answering (OpenQA) has employed both supervised and unsupervised approaches. However, it remains unclear how unsupervised and supervised methods can be used most effectively for neural retrievers. In this work, we systematically study retriever pre-training. We first propose an approach of unsupervised pre-training with the Inverse Cloze Task and masked salient spans, followed by supervised finetuning using question-context pairs. This approach leads to absolute gains of 2+ points over the previous best result in the top-20 retrieval accuracy on Natural Questions and TriviaQA datasets. We next explore two approaches for end-to-end training of the reader and retriever components in OpenQA models, which differ in the manner the reader ingests the retrieved documents. Our experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of these approaches as we obtain state-of-the-art results. On the Natural Questions dataset, we obtain a top-20 retrieval accuracy of 84%, an improvement of 5 points over the recent DPR model. We also achieve good results on answer extraction, outperforming recent models like REALM and RAG by 3+ points.


Large Margin Neural Language Model
Jiaji Huang | Yi Li | Wei Ping | Liang Huang
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

We propose a large margin criterion for training neural language models. Conventionally, neural language models are trained by minimizing perplexity (PPL) on grammatical sentences. However, we demonstrate that PPL may not be the best metric to optimize in some tasks, and further propose a large margin formulation. The proposed method aims to enlarge the margin between the “good” and “bad” sentences in a task-specific sense. It is trained end-to-end and can be widely applied to tasks that involve re-scoring of generated text. Compared with minimum-PPL training, our method gains up to 1.1 WER reduction for speech recognition and 1.0 BLEU increase for machine translation.