Automatic Evaluation of Attribution by Large Language Models.


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A recent focus of large language model (LLM) development, as exemplified by generative search engines, is to incorporate external references to generate and support their claims. However, evaluating the attribution, i.e., verifying whether the generated statement is indeed fully supported by the cited reference, remains an open problem. Although human evaluation is common practice, it is costly and time-consuming. In this paper, we investigate the automatic evaluation of attribution by LLMs. We begin by providing a definition of attribution and then explore two approaches for automatic evaluation: prompting LLMs and fine-tuning smaller LMs. The fine-tuning data is repurposed from related tasks, such as question answering, fact-checking, natural language inference, and summarization. To facilitate the evaluation, we manually curate a set of test examples covering 12 domains from a generative search engine, New Bing. Our results on the curated test set and simulated test examples from existing benchmark questions highlight both promising signals as well as remaining challenges for the automatic evaluation of attribution. We hope our testbed, modeling methodology, and insights will help lay the foundation for future studies on this important problem.
attribution,large language models,automatic evaluation
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