Generating Faithful Synthetic Data with Large Language Models: A Case Study in Computational Social Science

CoRR(2023)

Cited 3|Views53
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Abstract
Large Language Models (LLMs) have democratized synthetic data generation, which in turn has the potential to simplify and broaden a wide gamut of NLP tasks. Here, we tackle a pervasive problem in synthetic data generation: its generative distribution often differs from the distribution of real-world data researchers care about (in other words, it is unfaithful). In a case study on sarcasm detection, we study three strategies to increase the faithfulness of synthetic data: grounding, filtering, and taxonomy-based generation. We evaluate these strategies using the performance of classifiers trained with generated synthetic data on real-world data. While all three strategies improve the performance of classifiers, we find that grounding works best for the task at hand. As synthetic data generation plays an ever-increasing role in NLP research, we expect this work to be a stepping stone in improving its utility. We conclude this paper with some recommendations on how to generate high(er)-fidelity synthetic data for specific tasks.
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