AAAI 2024
Conference paper

Conformal Autoregressive Generation: Beam Search with Coverage Guarantees


We introduce two new extensions to the beam search algorithm based on conformal predictions (CP) to produce sets of sequences with theoretical coverage guarantees. The first method is very simple and proposes dynamically-sized subsets of beam search results but, unlike typical CP procedures, has an upper bound on the achievable guarantee depending on a post-hoc calibration measure. Our second algorithm introduces the conformal set prediction procedure as part of the decoding process, producing a variable beam width which adapts to the current uncertainty. While more complex, this procedure can achieve coverage guarantees selected a priori. We provide marginal coverage bounds for each method, and evaluate them empirically on a selection of tasks drawing from natural language processing and chemistry.