CooK: Empowering General-Purpose Language Models with Modular and Collaborative Knowledge

Large language models (LLMs) are increasingly adopted for knowledge-intensive tasks and contexts. Existing approaches improve the knowledge capabilities of general-purpose LLMs through retrieval or generated knowledge prompting, but they fall short of reflecting two key properties of knowledge-rich models: knowledge should be modular, ever-growing, sourced from diverse domains; knowledge acquisition and production should be a collaborative process, where diverse stakeholders contribute new information. To this end, we propose CooK, a novel framework to empower general-purpose large language models with modular and collaboratively sourced knowledge. We first introduce specialized language models, autoregressive models trained on corpora from a wide range of domains and sources. These specialized LMs serve as parametric knowledge repositories that are later prompted to generate background knowledge for general-purpose LLMs. We then propose three knowledge filters to dynamically select and retain information in generated documents by controlling for relevance, brevity, and factuality. Finally, we propose bottom-up and top-down knowledge integration approaches to augment general-purpose LLMs with the curated (relevant, factual) knowledge from community-driven specialized LMs that enable multi-domain knowledge synthesis and on-demand knowledge requests. Through extensive experiments, we demonstrate that CooK achieves state-of-the-art performance on six benchmark datasets. Our results highlight the potential of enriching general-purpose LLMs with evolving and modular knowledge – relevant knowledge that can be continuously updated through the collective efforts of the research community.

Vidhisha Balachandran
Graduate Student at Language Technologies Institute


Knowledge Card: Filling LLMs' Knowledge Gaps with Plug-in Specialized Language Models

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