SERVAL: Synergy Learning between Vertical Models and LLMs towards Oracle-Level Zero-shot Medical Prediction

Jiahuan Yan,Jintai Chen, Chaowen Hu,Bo Zheng, Yaojun Hu,Jimeng Sun,Jian Wu


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Recent development of large language models (LLMs) has exhibited impressive zero-shot proficiency on generic and common sense questions. However, LLMs' application on domain-specific vertical questions still lags behind, primarily due to the humiliation problems and deficiencies in vertical knowledge. Furthermore, the vertical data annotation process often requires labor-intensive expert involvement, thereby presenting an additional challenge in enhancing the model's vertical capabilities. In this paper, we propose SERVAL, a synergy learning pipeline designed for unsupervised development of vertical capabilities in both LLMs and small models by mutual enhancement. Specifically, SERVAL utilizes the LLM's zero-shot outputs as annotations, leveraging its confidence to teach a robust vertical model from scratch. Reversely, the trained vertical model guides the LLM fine-tuning to enhance its zero-shot capability, progressively improving both models through an iterative process. In medical domain, known for complex vertical knowledge and costly annotations, comprehensive experiments show that, without access to any gold labels, SERVAL with the synergy learning of OpenAI GPT-3.5 and a simple model attains fully-supervised competitive performance across ten widely used medical datasets. These datasets represent vertically specialized medical diagnostic scenarios (e.g., diabetes, heart diseases, COVID-19), highlighting the potential of SERVAL in refining the vertical capabilities of LLMs and training vertical models from scratch, all achieved without the need for annotations.
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