Recent Readings for Efficiency of Foundation Models (since 2022) (Index of Posts):

No. Read Date Title and Information We Read @
1 2024, Apr, 30 KV Cache, Tooling and WMDP 2024-S27
2 2024, Apr, 25 Advanced Transformer Architectures 2024-S26
3 2024, Apr, 18 Recent LLM basics 2024-S24
4 2024, Apr, 2 LLM Scaling law and Efficiency 2024-S19

Here is a detailed list of posts!

[1]: KV Cache, Tooling and WMDP


KV Caching in LLM:

  • grouped query attention:
  • Paged attention

The WMDP Benchmark: Measuring and Reducing Malicious Use With Unlearning

  • Nathaniel Li, Alexander Pan, Anjali Gopal, Summer Yue, Daniel Berrios, Alice Gatti, Justin D. Li, Ann-Kathrin Dombrowski, Shashwat Goel, Long Phan, Gabriel Mukobi, Nathan Helm-Burger, Rassin Lababidi, Lennart Justen, Andrew B. Liu, Michael Chen, Isabelle Barrass, Oliver Zhang, Xiaoyuan Zhu, Rishub Tamirisa, Bhrugu Bharathi, Adam Khoja, Zhenqi Zhao, Ariel Herbert-Voss, Cort B. Breuer, Andy Zou, Mantas Mazeika, Zifan Wang, Palash Oswal, Weiran Liu, Adam A. Hunt, Justin Tienken-Harder, Kevin Y. Shih, Kemper Talley, John Guan, Russell Kaplan, Ian Steneker, David Campbell, Brad Jokubaitis, Alex Levinson, Jean Wang, William Qian, Kallol Krishna Karmakar, Steven Basart, Stephen Fitz, Mindy Levine, Ponnurangam Kumaraguru, Uday Tupakula, Vijay Varadharajan, Yan Shoshitaishvili, Jimmy Ba, Kevin M. Esvelt, Alexandr Wang, Dan Hendrycks
  • The White House Executive Order on Artificial Intelligence highlights the risks of large language models (LLMs) empowering malicious actors in developing biological, cyber, and chemical weapons. To measure these risks of malicious use, government institutions and major AI labs are developing evaluations for hazardous capabilities in LLMs. However, current evaluations are private, preventing further research into mitigating risk. Furthermore, they focus on only a few, highly specific pathways for malicious use. To fill these gaps, we publicly release the Weapons of Mass Destruction Proxy (WMDP) benchmark, a dataset of 4,157 multiple-choice questions that serve as a proxy measurement of hazardous knowledge in biosecurity, cybersecurity, and chemical security. WMDP was developed by a consortium of academics and technical consultants, and was stringently filtered to eliminate sensitive information prior to public release. WMDP serves two roles: first, as an evaluation for hazardous knowledge in LLMs, and second, as a benchmark for unlearning methods to remove such hazardous knowledge. To guide progress on unlearning, we develop CUT, a state-of-the-art unlearning method based on controlling model representations. CUT reduces model performance on WMDP while maintaining general capabilities in areas such as biology and computer science, suggesting that unlearning may be a concrete path towards reducing malicious use from LLMs. We release our benchmark and code publicly at this https URL

Must know tools for training/finetuning/serving LLM’s -

  1. Torchtune - Build on top of Pytorch, for training and finetuning LLM’s. Uses yaml based configs for easily running experiments. Github -

  2. axolotl - Built on top on Huggigface peft and transformer library, supports fine-tuning a large number for models like Mistral, LLama etc. Provides support for techniques like RLHF, DPO, LORA, qLORA etc. Github

  3. LitGPT - Build on nanoGPT and Megatron, support pre-training and fine-tuning, has examples like Starcoder, TinyLlama etc. Github -

  4. Maxtext - Jax based library for training LLM’s on Google TPU’s with configs for models like Gemma, Mistral and LLama2 etc. Github

  5. Langchain-

    • LLM orchestration framework to build customizable, production-ready LLM applications. Connect components (models, vector DBs, file converters) to pipelines or agents that can interact with your data. With advanced retrieval methods, it’s best suited for building RAG, question answering, semantic search or conversational agent chatbots.
  7. LlamaIndex
    • LlamaIndex supports Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG). Instead of asking LLM to generate an answer immediately, LlamaIndex: retrieves information from your data sources first, / adds it to your question as context, and / asks the LLM to answer based on the enriched prompt.
  8. Making Retrieval Augmented Generation Fast
  9. OpenMoE

More readings

Harnessing the Power of LLMs in Practice: A Survey on ChatGPT and Beyond

  • Jingfeng Yang, Hongye Jin, Ruixiang Tang, Xiaotian Han, Qizhang Feng, Haoming Jiang, Bing Yin, Xia Hu
  • This paper presents a comprehensive and practical guide for practitioners and end-users working with Large Language Models (LLMs) in their downstream natural language processing (NLP) tasks. We provide discussions and insights into the usage of LLMs from the perspectives of models, data, and downstream tasks. Firstly, we offer an introduction and brief summary of current GPT- and BERT-style LLMs. Then, we discuss the influence of pre-training data, training data, and test data. Most importantly, we provide a detailed discussion about the use and non-use cases of large language models for various natural language processing tasks, such as knowledge-intensive tasks, traditional natural language understanding tasks, natural language generation tasks, emergent abilities, and considerations for specific tasks.We present various use cases and non-use cases to illustrate the practical applications and limitations of LLMs in real-world scenarios. We also try to understand the importance of data and the specific challenges associated with each NLP task. Furthermore, we explore the impact of spurious biases on LLMs and delve into other essential considerations, such as efficiency, cost, and latency, to ensure a comprehensive understanding of deploying LLMs in practice. This comprehensive guide aims to provide researchers and practitioners with valuable insights and best practices for working with LLMs, thereby enabling the successful implementation of these models in a wide range of NLP tasks. A curated list of practical guide resources of LLMs, regularly updated, .


Retentive Network: A Successor to Transformer for Large Language Models

  • In this work, we propose Retentive Network (RetNet) as a foundation architecture for large language models, simultaneously achieving training parallelism, low-cost inference, and good performance. We theoretically derive the connection between recurrence and attention. Then we propose the retention mechanism for sequence modeling, which supports three computation paradigms, i.e., parallel, recurrent, and chunkwise recurrent. Specifically, the parallel representation allows for training parallelism. The recurrent representation enables low-cost $O(1)$ inference, which improves decoding throughput, latency, and GPU memory without sacrificing performance. The chunkwise recurrent representation… Show more

RWKV: Reinventing RNNs for the Transformer Era

Our approach leverages a linear attention mechanism and allows us to formulate the model as either a Transfor… Show more

[2]: Advanced Transformer Architectures


In this session, our readings cover:

Required Readings:

Advancing Transformer Architecture in Long-Context Large Language Models: A Comprehensive Survey

  • Transformer-based Large Language Models (LLMs) have been applied in diverse areas such as knowledge bases, human interfaces, and dynamic agents, and marking a stride towards achieving Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). However, current LLMs are predominantly pretrained on short text snippets, which compromises their effectiveness in processing the long-context prompts that are frequently encountered in practical scenarios. This article offers a comprehensive survey of the recent advancement in Transformer-based LLM architectures aimed at enhancing the long-context capabilities of LLMs throughout the entire model lifecycle, from pre-training through to inference. We first delineate and analyze the problems of handling long-context input and output with the current Transformer-based models. We then provide a taxonomy and the landscape of upgrades on Transformer architecture to solve these problems. Afterwards, we provide an investigation on wildly used evaluation necessities tailored for long-context LLMs, including datasets, metrics, and baseline models, as well as optimization toolkits such as libraries, frameworks, and compilers to boost the efficacy of LLMs across different stages in runtime. Finally, we discuss the challenges and potential avenues for future research. A curated repository of relevant literature, continuously updated, is available at this https URL.

FlashAttention: Fast and Memory-Efficient Exact Attention with IO-Awareness

  • Tri Dao, Daniel Y. Fu, Stefano Ermon, Atri Rudra, Christopher Ré
  • Paper:
  • Transformers are slow and memory-hungry on long sequences, since the time and memory complexity of self-attention are quadratic in sequence length. Approximate attention methods have attempted to address this problem by trading off model quality to reduce the compute complexity, but often do not achieve wall-clock speedup. We argue that a missing principle is making attention algorithms IO-aware – accounting for reads and writes between levels of GPU memory. We propose FlashAttention, an IO-aware exact attention algorithm that uses tiling to reduce the number of memory reads/writes between GPU high bandwidth memory (HBM) and GPU on-chip SRAM. We analyze the IO complexity of FlashAttention, showing that it requires fewer HBM accesses than standard attention, and is optimal for a range of SRAM sizes. We also extend FlashAttention to block-sparse attention, yielding an approximate attention algorithm that is faster than any existing approximate attention method. FlashAttention trains Transformers faster than existing baselines: 15% end-to-end wall-clock speedup on BERT-large (seq. length 512) compared to the MLPerf 1.1 training speed record, 3$\times$ speedup on GPT-2 (seq. length 1K), and 2.4$\times$ speedup on long-range arena (seq. length 1K-4K). FlashAttention and block-sparse FlashAttention enable longer context in Transformers, yielding higher quality models (0.7 better perplexity on GPT-2 and 6.4 points of lift on long-document classification) and entirely new capabilities: the first Transformers to achieve better-than-chance performance on the Path-X challenge (seq. length 16K, 61.4% accuracy) and Path-256 (seq. length 64K, 63.1% accuracy).

  • Related: blogpost FlashAttention — Techniques for Efficient Inference of LLMs (III/IV)


  • Introducing Jamba: AI21’s Groundbreaking SSM-Transformer Model Debuting the first production-grade Mamba-based model delivering best-in-class quality and performance.
  • March 28, 2024
  • We are thrilled to announce Jamba, the world’s first production-grade Mamba based model. By enhancing Mamba Structured State Space model (SSM) technology with elements of the traditional Transformer architecture, Jamba compensates for the inherent limitations of a pure SSM model. Offering a 256K context window, it is already demonstrating remarkable gains in throughput and efficiency—just the beginning of what can be possible with this innovative hybrid architecture. Notably, Jamba outperforms or matches other state-of-the-art models in its size class on a wide range of benchmarks.

More readings:

Mamba: Linear-Time Sequence Modeling with Selective State Spaces

  • Albert Gu, Tri Dao
  • Foundation models, now powering most of the exciting applications in deep learning, are almost universally based on the Transformer architecture and its core attention module. Many subquadratic-time architectures such as linear attention, gated convolution and recurrent models, and structured state space models (SSMs) have been developed to address Transformers’ computational inefficiency on long sequences, but they have not performed as well as attention on important modalities such as language. We identify that a key weakness of such models is their inability to perform content-based reasoning, and make several improvements. First, simply letting the SSM parameters be functions of the input addresses their weakness with discrete modalities, allowing the model to selectively propagate or forget information along the sequence length dimension depending on the current token. Second, even though this change prevents the use of efficient convolutions, we design a hardware-aware parallel algorithm in recurrent mode. We integrate these selective SSMs into a simplified end-to-end neural network architecture without attention or even MLP blocks (Mamba). Mamba enjoys fast inference (5× higher throughput than Transformers) and linear scaling in sequence length, and its performance improves on real data up to million-length sequences. As a general sequence model backbone, Mamba achieves state-of-the-art performance across several modalities such as language, audio, and genomics. On language modeling, our Mamba-3B model outperforms Transformers of the same size and matches Transformers twice its size, both in pretraining and downstream evaluation.

Efficient Memory Management for Large Language Model Serving with PagedAttention

  • Woosuk Kwon, Zhuohan Li, Siyuan Zhuang, Ying Sheng, Lianmin Zheng, Cody Hao Yu, Joseph E. Gonzalez, Hao Zhang, Ion Stoica
  • High throughput serving of large language models (LLMs) requires batching sufficiently many requests at a time. However, existing systems struggle because the key-value cache (KV cache) memory for each request is huge and grows and shrinks dynamically. When managed inefficiently, this memory can be significantly wasted by fragmentation and redundant duplication, limiting the batch size. To address this problem, we propose PagedAttention, an attention algorithm inspired by the classical virtual memory and paging techniques in operating systems. On top of it, we build vLLM, an LLM serving system that achieves (1) near-zero waste in KV cache memory and (2) flexible sharing of KV cache within and across requests to further reduce memory usage. Our evaluations show that vLLM improves the throughput of popular LLMs by 2-4× with the same level of latency compared to the state-of-the-art systems, such as FasterTransformer and Orca. The improvement is more pronounced with longer sequences, larger models, and more complex decoding algorithms. vLLM’s source code is publicly available at this https URL

Attention Mechanisms in Computer Vision: A Survey

  • Meng-Hao Guo, Tian-Xing Xu, Jiang-Jiang Liu, Zheng-Ning Liu, Peng-Tao Jiang, Tai-Jiang Mu, Song-Hai Zhang, Ralph R. Martin, Ming-Ming Cheng, Shi-Min Hu
  • Humans can naturally and effectively find salient regions in complex scenes. Motivated by this observation, attention mechanisms were introduced into computer vision with the aim of imitating this aspect of the human visual system. Such an attention mechanism can be regarded as a dynamic weight adjustment process based on features of the input image. Attention mechanisms have achieved great success in many visual tasks, including image classification, object detection, semantic segmentation, video understanding, image generation, 3D vision, multi-modal tasks and self-supervised learning. In this survey, we provide a comprehensive review of various attention mechanisms in computer vision and categorize them according to approach, such as channel attention, spatial attention, temporal attention and branch attention; a related repository this https URL is dedicated to collecting related work. We also suggest future directions for attention mechanism research.

[3]: Recent LLM basics

Efficiency BasicLLM

In this session, our readings cover:

Require Readings:

Towards Efficient Generative Large Language Model Serving: A Survey from Algorithms to Systems

  • In the rapidly evolving landscape of artificial intelligence (AI), generative large language models (LLMs) stand at the forefront, revolutionizing how we interact with our data. However, the computational intensity and memory consumption of deploying these models present substantial challenges in terms of serving efficiency, particularly in scenarios demanding low latency and high throughput. This survey addresses the imperative need for efficient LLM serving methodologies from a machine learning system (MLSys) research perspective, standing at the crux of advanced AI innovations and practical system optimizations. We provide in-depth analysis, covering a spectrum of solutions, ranging from cutting-edge algorithmic modifications to groundbreaking changes in system designs. The survey aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the current state and future directions in efficient LLM serving, offering valuable insights for researchers and practitioners in overcoming the barriers of effective LLM deployment, thereby reshaping the future of AI.

Pythia: A Suite for Analyzing Large Language Models Across Training and Scaling

  • How do large language models (LLMs) develop and evolve over the course of training? How do these patterns change as models scale? To answer these questions, we introduce \textit{Pythia}, a suite of 16 LLMs all trained on public data seen in the exact same order and ranging in size from 70M to 12B parameters. We provide public access to 154 checkpoints for each one of the 16 models, alongside tools to download and reconstruct their exact training dataloaders for further study. We intend \textit{Pythia} to facilitate research in many areas, and we present several case studies including novel results in memorization, term frequency effects on few-shot performance, and reducing gender bias. We demonstrate that this highly controlled setup can be used to yield novel insights toward LLMs and their training dynamics. Trained models, analysis code, training code, and training data can be found at \url{this https URL}.

MM1: Methods, Analysis & Insights from Multimodal LLM Pre-training

  • Multimodal LLM Pre-training - provides a comprehensive overview of methods, analysis, and insights into multimodal LLM pre-training; studies different architecture components and finds that carefully mixing image-caption, interleaved image-text, and text-only data is key for state-of-the-art performance; it also proposes a family of multimodal models up to 30B parameters that achieve SOTA in pre-training metrics and include properties such as enhanced in-context learning, multi-image reasoning, enabling few-shot chain-of-thought prompting.

More Readings:

Sparks of Large Audio Models: A Survey and Outlook

  • Siddique Latif, Moazzam Shoukat, Fahad Shamshad, Muhammad Usama, Yi Ren, Heriberto Cuayáhuitl, Wenwu Wang, Xulong Zhang, Roberto Togneri, Erik Cambria, Björn W. Schuller
  • This survey paper provides a comprehensive overview of the recent advancements and challenges in applying large language models to the field of audio signal processing. Audio processing, with its diverse signal representations and a wide range of sources–from human voices to musical instruments and environmental sounds–poses challenges distinct from those found in traditional Natural Language Processing scenarios. Nevertheless, \textit{Large Audio Models}, epitomized by transformer-based architectures, have shown marked efficacy in this sphere. By leveraging massive amount of data, these models have demonstrated prowess in a variety of audio tasks, spanning from Automatic Speech Recognition and Text-To-Speech to Music Generation, among others. Notably, recently these Foundational Audio Models, like SeamlessM4T, have started showing abilities to act as universal translators, supporting multiple speech tasks for up to 100 languages without any reliance on separate task-specific systems. This paper presents an in-depth analysis of state-of-the-art methodologies regarding \textit{Foundational Large Audio Models}, their performance benchmarks, and their applicability to real-world scenarios. We also highlight current limitations and provide insights into potential future research directions in the realm of \textit{Large Audio Models} with the intent to spark further discussion, thereby fostering innovation in the next generation of audio-processing systems. Furthermore, to cope with the rapid development in this area, we will consistently update the relevant repository with relevant recent articles and their open-source implementations at this https URL.

[4]: LLM Scaling law and Efficiency


In this session, our readings cover:

Required Readings:

Scaling Laws for Neural Language Models

  • Jared Kaplan, Sam McCandlish, Tom Henighan, Tom B. Brown, Benjamin Chess, Rewon Child, Scott Gray, Alec Radford, Jeffrey Wu, Dario Amodei
  • We study empirical scaling laws for language model performance on the cross-entropy loss. The loss scales as a power-law with model size, dataset size, and the amount of compute used for training, with some trends spanning more than seven orders of magnitude. Other architectural details such as network width or depth have minimal effects within a wide range. Simple equations govern the dependence of overfitting on model/dataset size and the dependence of training speed on model size. These relationships allow us to determine the optimal allocation of a fixed compute budget. Larger models are significantly more sample-efficient, such that optimally compute-efficient training involves training very large models on a relatively modest amount of data and stopping significantly before convergence.


Efficient Large Language Models: A Survey

  • Large Language Models (LLMs) have demonstrated remarkable capabilities in important tasks such as natural language understanding, language generation, and complex reasoning and have the potential to make a substantial impact on our society. Such capabilities, however, come with the considerable resources they demand, highlighting the strong need to develop effective techniques for addressing their efficiency this http URL this survey, we provide a systematic and comprehensive review of efficient LLMs research. We organize the literature in a taxonomy consisting of three main categories, covering distinct yet interconnected efficient LLMs topics from model-centric, data-centric, and framework-centric perspective, respectively. We have also created a GitHub repository where we compile the papers featured in this survey at this https URL, and will actively maintain this repository and incorporate new research as it emerges. We hope our survey can serve as a valuable resource to help researchers and practitioners gain a systematic understanding of the research developments in efficient LLMs and inspire them to contribute to this important and exciting field.

The Era of 1-bit LLMs: All Large Language Models are in 1.58 Bits

  • Recent research, such as BitNet [23], is paving the way for a new era of 1-bit Large Language Models (LLMs). In this work, we introduce a 1-bit LLM variant, namely BitNet b1.58, in which every single parameter (or weight) of the LLM is ternary {-1, 0, 1}. It matches the full-precision (i.e., FP16 or BF16) Transformer LLM with the same model size and training tokens in terms of both perplexity and end-task performance, while being significantly more cost-effective in terms of latency, memory, throughput, and energy consumption. More profoundly, the 1.58-bit LLM defines a new scaling law and recipe for training new generations of LLMs that are both high-performance and cost-effective. Furthermore, it enables a new computation paradigm and opens the door for designing specific hardware optimized for 1-bit LLMs.

More Readings:

An Expert is Worth One Token: Synergizing Multiple Expert LLMs as Generalist via Expert Token Routing

  • Ziwei Chai, Guoyin Wang, Jing Su, Tianjie Zhang, Xuanwen Huang, Xuwu Wang, Jingjing Xu, Jianbo Yuan, Hongxia Yang, Fei Wu, Yang Yang
  • We present Expert-Token-Routing, a unified generalist framework that facilitates seamless integration of multiple expert LLMs. Our framework represents expert LLMs as special expert tokens within the vocabulary of a meta LLM. The meta LLM can route to an expert LLM like generating new tokens. Expert-Token-Routing not only supports learning the implicit expertise of expert LLMs from existing instruction dataset but also allows for dynamic extension of new expert LLMs in a plug-and-play manner. It also conceals the detailed collaboration process from the user’s perspective, facilitating interaction as though it were a singular LLM. Our framework outperforms various existing multi-LLM collaboration paradigms across benchmarks that incorporate six diverse expert domains, demonstrating effectiveness and robustness in building generalist LLM system via synergizing multiple expert LLMs.

LIMA: Less Is More for Alignment /

  • Large language models are trained in two stages: (1) unsupervised pretraining from raw text, to learn general-purpose representations, and (2) large scale instruction tuning and reinforcement learning, to better align to end tasks and user preferences. We measure the relative importance of these two stages by training LIMA, a 65B parameter LLaMa language model fine-tuned with the standard supervised loss on only 1,000 carefully curated prompts and responses, without any reinforcement learning or human preference modeling. LIMA demonstrates remarkably strong performance, learning to follow specific response formats from only a handful of examples in the training data, including complex queries that range from planning trip itineraries to speculating about alternate history. Moreover, the model tends to generalize well to unseen tasks that did not appear in the training data. In a controlled human study, responses from LIMA are either equivalent or strictly preferred to GPT-4 in 43% of cases; this statistic is as high as 58% when compared to Bard and 65% versus DaVinci003, which was trained with human feedback. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that almost all knowledge in large language models is learned during pretraining, and only limited instruction tuning data is necessary to teach models to produce high quality output.

Here is a name list of posts!