BRAIn: Bayesian Reward-conditioned Amortized Inference for natural language generation from feedback

Published on Feb 4


Following the success of Proximal Policy Optimization (PPO) for Reinforcement Learning from Human Feedback (RLHF), new techniques such as Sequence Likelihood Calibration (SLiC) and Direct Policy Optimization (DPO) have been proposed that are offline in nature and use rewards in an indirect manner. These techniques, in particular DPO, have recently become the tools of choice for LLM alignment due to their scalability and performance. However, they leave behind important features of the PPO approach. Methods such as SLiC or RRHF make use of the Reward Model (RM) only for ranking/preference, losing fine-grained information and ignoring the parametric form of the RM (eg., Bradley-Terry, Plackett-Luce), while methods such as DPO do not use even a separate reward model. In this work, we propose a novel approach, named BRAIn, that re-introduces the RM as part of a distribution matching approach.BRAIn considers the LLM distribution conditioned on the assumption of output goodness and applies Bayes theorem to derive an intractable posterior distribution where the RM is explicitly represented. BRAIn then distills this posterior into an amortized inference network through self-normalized importance sampling, leading to a scalable offline algorithm that significantly outperforms prior art in summarization and AntropicHH tasks. BRAIn also has interesting connections to PPO and DPO for specific RM choices.


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