Mohammad Shoeybi


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:

Prompt Compression and Contrastive Conditioning for Controllability and Toxicity Reduction in Language Models
David Wingate | Mohammad Shoeybi | Taylor Sorensen
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

We explore the idea of compressing the prompts used to condition language models, and show that compressed prompts can retain a substantive amount of information about the original prompt. For severely compressed prompts, while fine-grained information is lost, abstract information and general sentiments can be retained with surprisingly few parameters, which can be useful in the context of decode-time algorithms for controllability and toxicity reduction. We find that some complex prompts can be effectively compressed into a single token to guide generation. We also show that compressed prompts are largely compositional, and can be constructed such that they can be used to control independent aspects of generated text.

Evaluating Parameter Efficient Learning for Generation
Peng Xu | Mostofa Patwary | Shrimai Prabhumoye | Virginia Adams | Ryan Prenger | Wei Ping | Nayeon Lee | Mohammad Shoeybi | Bryan Catanzaro
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Parameter efficient learning methods (PERMs)have recently gained significant attention asthey provide an efficient way for pre-trainedlanguage models (PLMs) to adapt to a downstream task. However, these conclusions aremostly drawn from in-domain evaluations overthe full training set. In this paper, we presentcomparisons between PERMs and finetuningfrom three new perspectives: (1) the effect ofsample and model size to in-domain evaluations, (2) generalization to unseen domains andnew datasets, and (3) the faithfulness of generations. Our results show that for in-domainsettings (a) there is a cross point of samplesize for which PERMs will perform better thanfinetuning when training with fewer samples,and (b) larger PLMs have larger cross points.For cross-domain and cross-dataset cases, weshow that (a) Adapter (Houlsby et al., 2019)performs the best amongst all the PERMs studied here, and (b) it outperforms finetuning ifthe task dataset is below a certain size. Wealso compare the faithfulness of generationsand show that PERMs can achieve better faithfulness score than finetuning, especially forsmall training set, by as much as 6%. Finally,we apply Adapter to MT-NLG 530b (Smithet al., 2022) and achieve new state-of-the-artresults on Xsum (Narayan et al., 2018) for allROUGE scores (ROUGE-1 49.17, ROUGE-227.20, ROUGE-L 40.98).


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 Scale Multi-Actor Generative Dialog Modeling
Alex Boyd | Raul Puri | Mohammad Shoeybi | Mostofa Patwary | Bryan Catanzaro
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Non-goal oriented dialog agents (i.e. chatbots) aim to produce varying and engaging conversations with a user; however, they typically exhibit either inconsistent personality across conversations or the average personality of all users. This paper addresses these issues by controlling an agent’s persona upon generation via conditioning on prior conversations of a target actor. In doing so, we are able to utilize more abstract patterns within a person’s speech and better emulate them in generated responses. This work introduces the Generative Conversation Control model, an augmented and fine-tuned GPT-2 language model that conditions on past reference conversations to probabilistically model multi-turn conversations in the actor’s persona. We introduce an accompanying data collection procedure to obtain 10.3M conversations from 6 months worth of Reddit comments. We demonstrate that scaling model sizes from 117M to 8.3B parameters yields an improvement from 23.14 to 13.14 perplexity on 1.7M held out Reddit conversations. Increasing model scale yielded similar improvements in human evaluations that measure preference of model samples to the held out target distribution in terms of realism (31% increased to 37% preference), style matching (37% to 42%), grammar and content quality (29% to 42%), and conversation coherency (32% to 40%). We find that conditionally modeling past conversations improves perplexity by 0.47 in automatic evaluations. Through human trials we identify positive trends between conditional modeling and style matching and outline steps to further improve persona control.

MEGATRON-CNTRL: Controllable Story Generation with External Knowledge Using Large-Scale Language Models
Peng Xu | Mostofa Patwary | Mohammad Shoeybi | Raul Puri | Pascale Fung | Anima Anandkumar | Bryan Catanzaro
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Existing pre-trained large language models have shown unparalleled generative capabilities. However, they are not controllable. In this paper, we propose MEGATRON-CNTRL, a novel framework that uses large-scale language models and adds control to text generation by incorporating an external knowledge base. Our framework consists of a keyword predictor, a knowledge retriever, a contextual knowledge ranker, and a conditional text generator. As we do not have access to ground-truth supervision for the knowledge ranker, we make use of weak supervision from sentence embedding. The empirical results show that our model generates more fluent, consistent, and coherent stories with less repetition and higher diversity compared to prior work on the ROC story dataset. We showcase the controllability of our model by replacing the keywords used to generate stories and re-running the generation process. Human evaluation results show that 77.5% of these stories are successfully controlled by the new keywords. Furthermore, by scaling our model from 124 million to 8.3 billion parameters we demonstrate that larger models improve both the quality of generation (from 74.5% to 93.0% for consistency) and controllability (from 77.5% to 91.5%).

BioMegatron: Larger Biomedical Domain Language Model
Hoo-Chang Shin | Yang Zhang | Evelina Bakhturina | Raul Puri | Mostofa Patwary | Mohammad Shoeybi | Raghav Mani
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

There has been an influx of biomedical domain-specific language models, showing language models pre-trained on biomedical text perform better on biomedical domain benchmarks than those trained on general domain text corpora such as Wikipedia and Books. Yet, most works do not study the factors affecting each domain language application deeply. Additionally, the study of model size on domain-specific models has been mostly missing. We empirically study and evaluate several factors that can affect performance on domain language applications, such as the sub-word vocabulary set, model size, pre-training corpus, and domain transfer. We show consistent improvements on benchmarks with our larger BioMegatron model trained on a larger domain corpus, contributing to our understanding of domain language model applications. We demonstrate noticeable improvements over the previous state-of-the-art (SOTA) on standard biomedical NLP benchmarks of question answering, named entity recognition, and relation extraction. Code and checkpoints to reproduce our experiments are available at [].

Training Question Answering Models From Synthetic Data
Raul Puri | Ryan Spring | Mohammad Shoeybi | Mostofa Patwary | Bryan Catanzaro
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Question and answer generation is a data augmentation method that aims to improve question answering (QA) models given the limited amount of human labeled data. However, a considerable gap remains between synthetic and human-generated question-answer pairs. This work aims to narrow this gap by taking advantage of large language models and explores several factors such as model size, quality of pretrained models, scale of data synthesized, and algorithmic choices. On the SQuAD1.1 question answering task, we achieve higher accuracy using solely synthetic questions and answers than when using the SQuAD1.1 training set questions alone. Removing access to real Wikipedia data, we synthesize questions and answers from a synthetic text corpus generated by an 8.3 billion parameter GPT-2 model and achieve 88.4 Exact Match (EM) and 93.9 F1 score on the SQuAD1.1 dev set. We further apply our methodology to SQuAD2.0 and show a 2.8 absolute gain on EM score compared to prior work using synthetic data.