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Meaning Representations from Trajectories in Autoregressive Models

Tian Yu Liu · Matthew Trager · Alessandro Achille · Pramuditha Perera · Luca Zancato · Stefano Soatto

Halle B #135
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Thu 9 May 7:30 a.m. PDT — 9:30 a.m. PDT


We propose to extract meaning representations from autoregressive language models by considering the distribution of all possible trajectories extending an input text. This strategy is prompt-free, does not require fine-tuning, and is applicable to any pre-trained autoregressive model. Moreover, unlike vector-based representations, distribution-based representations can also model asymmetric relations (e.g., direction of logical entailment, hypernym/hyponym relations) by using algebraic operations between likelihood functions. These ideas are grounded in distributional perspectives on semantics and are connected to standard constructions in automata theory, but to our knowledge they have not been applied to modern language models. We empirically show that the representations obtained from large models align well with human annotations, outperform other zero-shot and prompt-free methods on semantic similarity tasks, and can be used to solve more complex entailment and containment tasks that standard embeddings cannot handle. Finally, we extend our method to represent data from different modalities (e.g., image and text) using multimodal autoregressive models. Our code is available at:

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