Xiaodan Zhu works at Queen’s University.


Self-Consistent Decoding for More Factual Open Responses

Self-consistency has emerged as a powerful method for improving the accuracy of short answers generated by large language models. As previously defined, it only concerns the accuracy of a final answer parsed from generated text. In this work, we extend the idea to open response generation, by integrating voting into the decoding method. Each output sentence is selected from among multiple samples, conditioning on the previous selections, based on a simple token overlap score. We compare this “Sample & Select” method to greedy decoding, beam search, nucleus sampling, and the recently introduced hallucination avoiding decoders of DoLa, P-CRR, and S-CRR. We show that Sample & Select improves factuality by a 30% relative margin against these decoders in NLI-based evaluation on the subsets of CNN/DM and XSum used in the FRANK benchmark, while maintaining comparable ROUGE-1 F1 scores against reference summaries. We collect human verifications of the generated summaries, confirming the factual superiority of our method.

Retrieval, Analogy, and Composition: A framework for Compositional Generalization in Image Captioning

Image captioning systems are expected to have the ability to combine individual concepts when describing scenes with concept combinations that are not observed during training. In spite of significant progress in image captioning with the help of the autoregressive generation framework, current approaches fail to generalize well to novel concept combinations. We propose a new framework that revolves around probing several similar image caption training instances (retrieval), performing analogical reasoning over relevant entities in retrieved prototypes (analogy), and enhancing the generation process with reasoning outcomes (composition). Our method augments the generation model by referring to the neighboring instances in the training set to produce novel concept combinations in generated captions. We perform experiments on the widely used image captioning benchmarks. The proposed models achieve substantial improvement over the compared baselines on both composition-related evaluation metrics and conventional image captioning metrics.