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Benchmarking and Improving Generator-Validator Consistency of Language Models

XIANG LI · Vaishnavi Shrivastava · Siyan Li · Tatsunori Hashimoto · Percy Liang

Halle B #124
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Tue 7 May 7:30 a.m. PDT — 9:30 a.m. PDT


As of September 2023, ChatGPT correctly answers “what is 7+8” with 15, but when asked “7+8=15, True or False” it responds with “False”. This inconsistency between generating and validating an answer is prevalent in language models (LMs) and erodes trust. In this paper, we propose a framework for measuring the consistency between generation and validation (which we call generator-validator consistency, or GV-consistency), finding that even GPT-4 (0613), a state-of-the-art LM, is GV-consistent only 76% of the time. To improve the consistency of LMs, we propose to finetune on the filtered generator and validator responses that are GV-consistent, and call this approach consistency fine-tuning. We find that this approach improves GV-consistency of Alpaca-30B from 60% to 93%, and the improvement extrapolates to unseen tasks and domains (e.g., GV-consistency for positive style transfers extrapolates to unseen styles like humor). In addition to improving consistency, consistency fine-tuning improves both generator quality and validator accuracy without using any labeled data. Evaluated across 6 tasks, including math questions, knowledge-intensive QA, and instruction following, our method improves generator quality by an average of 16% and validator accuracy by an average of 6.3% across all tasks.

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