Cappy: Outperforming and Boosting Large Multi-Task LMs with a Small Scorer

Published on Nov 12, 2023
· Submitted by akhaliq on Nov 14, 2023


Large language models (LLMs) such as T0, FLAN, and OPT-IML, excel in multi-tasking under a unified instruction-following paradigm, where they also exhibit remarkable generalization abilities to unseen tasks. Despite their impressive performance, these LLMs, with sizes ranging from several billion to hundreds of billions of parameters, demand substantial computational resources, making their training and inference expensive and inefficient. Furthermore, adapting these models to downstream applications, particularly complex tasks, is often unfeasible due to the extensive hardware requirements for finetuning, even when utilizing parameter-efficient approaches such as prompt tuning. Additionally, the most powerful multi-task LLMs, such as OPT-IML-175B and FLAN-PaLM-540B, are not publicly accessible, severely limiting their customization potential. To address these challenges, we introduce a pretrained small scorer, Cappy, designed to enhance the performance and efficiency of multi-task LLMs. With merely 360 million parameters, Cappy functions either independently on classification tasks or serve as an auxiliary component for LLMs, boosting their performance. Moreover, Cappy enables efficiently integrating downstream supervision without requiring LLM finetuning nor the access to their parameters. Our experiments demonstrate that, when working independently on 11 language understanding tasks from PromptSource, Cappy outperforms LLMs that are several orders of magnitude larger. Besides, on 45 complex tasks from BIG-Bench, Cappy boosts the performance of the advanced multi-task LLM, FLAN-T5, by a large margin. Furthermore, Cappy is flexible to cooperate with other LLM adaptations, including finetuning and in-context learning, offering additional performance enhancement.


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