Understanding neurons

1.1

How far can you get deeply reverse engineering a neuron in a 1L model? 1L is particularly easy since each neuron's output adds directly to the logits.

Understanding neurons

1.2

Find an interesting neuron you think represents a feature. Can you fully reverse engineer which direction should activate that feature, and compare to neuron input direction?

Understanding neurons

1.3

Look for trigram neurons and try to reverse engineer them. in a 1L model.(e.g, "ice cream -> sundae")

Understanding neurons

1.4

Check out the SoLU paper for more ideas on 1L neurons to find and reverse engineer.

Understanding neurons

1.5

How far can you get deeply reverse engineering a neuron in a 2+ layer model?

Understanding neurons

1.6

Hunt through Neuroscope for the toy models and look for interesting neurons to focus on.

Understanding neurons

1.7

Can you find any polysemantic neurons in Neuroscope? Explore this.

Understanding neurons

1.8

Are there neurons whose behaviour can be matched by a regex or other code? If so, run it on a ton of text and compare the output.

How do larger models differ?

1.9

How do 3-layer and 4-layer attention-only models differ from 2L? (For instance, induction heads only appeared with 2L. Can you find something useful that only appears at 3L or higher?)

How do larger models differ?

1.1

How do 3-layer and 4-layer attention-only models differ from 2L? Look for composition scores - try to identify pairs of heads that compose a lot.

How do larger models differ?

1.11

How do 3-layer and 4-layer attention-only models differ from 2L? Look for evidence of composition.

How do larger models differ?

1.12

How do 3-layer and 4-layer attention-only models differ from 2L? Ablate a single head and run the model on a lot of text. Look at the change in performance. Do any heads matter a lot that aren't induction heads?

How do larger models differ?

1.13

Look for tasks that an n-layer model can't do, but an n+1-layer model can, and look for a circuit that explains this. (Start by running both models on a bunch of text and look for per-token probability differences)

How do larger models differ?

1.14

How do 1L SoLU/GELU models differ from 1L attention-only?

How do larger models differ?

1.15

How do 2L SoLU models differ from 1L?

How do larger models differ?

1.16

How does 1L GELU differ from 1L SoLU?

How do larger models differ?

1.17

Analyse how a larger model "fixes the bugs" of a smaller model.

How do larger models differ?

1.18

Does a 1L MLP transformer fix the skip trigram bugs of a 1L Attn Only model? If so, how?

How do larger models differ?

1.19

Does a 3L attn only model fix bugs in induction heads in a 2L attn-only model? Try looking at split-token induction, where the current token has a preceding space and is one token, but the earlier occurrence has no preceding space and is two tokens. E.g " Claire" vs. "Cl" "aire"

How do larger models differ?

1.2

Does a 3L attn only model fix bugs in induction heads in a 2L attn-only model? Look at misfiring when the previous token appears multiple times with different following tokens

How do larger models differ?

1.21

Does a 3L attn only model fix bugs in induction heads in a 2L attn-only model? Look at stopping induction on a token that likely shows the end of a repeated string (e.g, . or ! or ")

How do larger models differ?

1.22

Does a 2L MLP model fix these bugs (1.19 -1.21) too?

1.23

Choose your own adventure: Take a bunch of text with interesting patterns and run the models over it. Look for tokens they do really well on and try to reverse engineer what's going on!

Circuits in natural language

2.1

Look for the induction heads in GPT-2 Small that work with pointer arithmetic. Can you reverse engineer the weights?

Circuits in natural language

2.2

Continuing sequences that are common in natural language (E.g, "1 2 3 4" -> "5", "Monday\nTuesday\n" -> "Wednesday"

Circuits in natural language

2.3

A harder example would be numbers at the start of lines, like "1. Blah blah blah \n2. Blah blah blah\n"-> "3". Feels like it must be doing something induction-y!

Circuits in natural language

2.4

3 letter acronyms, like "The Acrobatic Circus Group (ACG) and the Ringmaster Friendship Union (" -> RFU

Circuits in natural language

2.5

Converting names to emails, like "Katy Johnson <" -> "katy_johnson"

Circuits in natural language

2.6

A harder version of 2.5 is constructing an email from a snippet, like Name: Jess Smith, Email: last name dot first name k @ gmail

Circuits in natural language

2.7

Interpret factual recall. Start with ROME's work with causal tracing, but how much more specific can you get? Heads? Neurons?

Circuits in natural language

2.8

Learning that words after full stops are capital letters.

Circuits in natural language

2.9

Counting objects described in text. (E.g, I picked up an apple, a pear, and an orange. I was holding three fruits.)

Circuits in natural language

2.1

Interpreting memorisation. Sometimes GPT knows phone numbers. How?

Circuits in natural language

2.11

Reverse engineer an induction head in a non-toy model.

Circuits in natural language

2.12

Choosing the right pronouns (E.g, "Lina is a great friend, isn't")

Alana Xiang - 5 May 2023

Circuits in natural language

2.13

Choose your own adventure! Try finding behaviours of your own related to natural language circuits.

Circuits in code models

2.14

Closing brackets. Bonus: Tracking correct brackets - [, (, {, etc.

Circuits in code models

2.15

Closing HTML tags

Circuits in code models

2.16

Methods depend on object type (e.g, x.append a list, x.update a dictionary)

Circuits in code models

2.17

Choose your own adventure! Look for interesting patterns in how the model behaves on code and try to reverse engineer something. Algorithmic flavored tasks should be easiest.

Extensions to IOI paper

2.18

Understand IOI in the Stanford mistral models. Does the same circuit arise? (You should be able to near exactly copy Redwood's code for this)

Extensions to IOI paper

2.19

Do earlier heads in the circuit (duplicate token, induction, S-inhibition) have backup style behaviour? If we ablate them, how much does this damage performance? Will other things compensate?

Extensions to IOI paper

2.2

Is there a general pattern for backup-ness? (Follows 2.19)

Manan Suri - 14 July, 2023

Extensions to IOI paper

2.21

Can we reverse engineer how duplicate token heads work deeply? In particular, how does the QK circuit know to look for copies of the current token without activating on non-duplicates since the current token is always a copy of itself?

Extensions to IOI paper

2.22

Understand IOI in GPT-Neo. Same size but seems to do IOI via MLP composition.

Extensions to IOI paper

2.23

What is the role of Negative/Backup/regular Name Mover heads outside IOI? Are there examples where Negative Name Movers contribute positively?

Extensions to IOI paper

2.24

What are the conditions for the compensation mechanisms where ablating a name mover doesn't reduce performance much to occur? Is it due to dropout?

Extensions to IOI paper

2.25

GPT-Neo wasn't trained with dropout - check 2.24 on this.

Extensions to IOI paper

2.26

Reverse engineering L4H11, a really sharp previous token head in GPT-2-small, at the parameter level.

Extensions to IOI paper

2.27

MLP layers (beyond the first) seem to matter somewhat for the IOI task. What's up with this?

Extensions to IOI paper

2.28

Understanding what's happening in the adversarial examples, most notable S-Inhibition Head attention pattern (hard)

Confusing things

2.29

Why do models have so many induction heads? How do they specialise, and why does the model need so many?

Confusing things

2.3

Why is GPT-2 Small's performance ruined if the first MLP layer is ablated?

Confusing things

2.31

Can we find evidence of the residual stream as shared bandwidth hypothesis?

Confusing things

2.32

Can we find evidence of the residual stream as shared bandwidth hypothesis? In particular, the idea that the model dedicates parameters to memory management and cleaning up memory once it's used. Are there neurons with high negative cosine sim (so the output erases the input feature) Do they correspond to cleaning up specific features?

Confusing things

2.33

What happens to the memory in an induction circuit? (See 2.32)

Studying larger models

2.34

GPT-J contains translation heads. Can you interpret how they work and what they do?

Studying larger models

2.35

Try to find and reverse engineer fancier induction heads like pattern matching heads - try GPT-J or GPT-NeoX.

Studying larger models

2.36

What's up with few-shot learning? How does it work?

Studying larger models

2.37

How does addition work? (Focus on 2-digit)

Studying larger models

2.38

What's up with Tim Dettmer's emergent features in the residual stream stuff? Do they map to anything interpretable? What if we do max activating dataset examples?

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Beginner problems

3.1

Sorting fixed-length lists. (format - START 4 6 2 9 MID 2 4 6 9)

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Beginner problems

3.2

Sorting variable-length lists. (What's the sorting algorithm? What's the longest list you can get do? How does length affect accuracy?)

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Beginner problems

3.3

Interpret a 2L MLP (one hidden layer) trained to do modular addition. (Analogous to Neel's grokking work)

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Beginner problems

3.4

Interpret a 1L MLP trained to do modular subtraction (Analogous to Neel's grokking work)

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Beginner problems

3.5

Taking the minimum or maximum of two ints

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Beginner problems

3.6

Permuting lists

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Beginner problems

3.7

Calculating sequences with Fibonnaci-style recurrence (predicting next element from the previous two)

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Harder problems

3.8

5-digit addition/subtraction.

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Harder problems

3.9

Predicting the output to simple code function. E.g, problems like "a = 1 2 3. a[2] = 4. a -> 1 2 4"

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Harder problems

3.1

Graph theory problems like this. Unsure of the correct input format. Try a bunch. See here

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Harder problems

3.11

Train a model on multiple algorithmic tasks we understand (like modular addition and subtraction). Compare to a model trained on each task. Does it learn the same circuits? Is there superposition?

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Harder problems

3.12

Train models for automata tasks and interpret them. Do your results match the theory?

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Harder problems

3.13

In-Context Linear Regression - the transformer gets a sequence (x_1, y_1, x_2, y_2, ...) where y_i = Ax_i + b. A and b are different for each prompt, and need to be learned in-context. (Code here)

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Harder problems

3.14

Problems in In-Context Linear Regression that are in-context learned. See 3.13.

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Harder problems

3.15

5 digit (or binary) multiplication

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Harder problems

3.16

Predict repeated subsequences in randomly generated tokens, and see if you can find and reverse engineer induction heads.

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Harder problems

3.17

Choose your own adventure! Find your own algorithmic problem. Leetcode easy is probably a good source.

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

3.18

Build a toy model of Indirect Object Identification - train a tiny attention-only model on an algorithmic task simulating IOI - and reverse-engineer the learned solution. Compare it to the circuit found in GPT-2 Small.

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

3.19

Is 3.18 consistent across random seeds, or can other algorithms be learned? Can a 2L model learn this? What happens if you add more MLP's or more layers?

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

3.2

Reverse-engineer Othello-GPT. Can you reverse-engineer the algorithms it learns, or the features the probes find?

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Questions about language models

3.21

Train a 1L attention-only transformer with rotary to predict the previous token and reverse engineer how it does this.

5/7/23: Eric (repo: https://github.com/DKdekes/rotary-interp)

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Questions about language models

3.22

Train a 3L attention-only transformer to perform the Indirect Object Identification task. Can it do the task? Does it learn the same circuit found in GPT-2 Small?

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Questions about language models

3.23

Redo Neel's modular addition analysis with GELU. Does it change things?

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Questions about language models

3.24

How does memorisation work? Try training a one hidden layer MLP to memorise random data, or training a transformer on a fixed set of random strings of tokens.

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Questions about language models

3.25

Compare different dimensionality reduction techniques on modular addition or a problem you feel you understand.

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Questions about language models

3.26

In modular addition, look at what different dimensionality reduction techniques do on different weight matrices. Can you identify which weights matter most? Which neurons form clusters for each frequency? Anything from activations?

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Questions about language models

3.27

Is direct logit attribution always useful? Can you find examples where it's highly misleading?

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Deep learning mysteries

3.28

Explore the Lottery Ticket Hypothesis

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Deep learning mysteries

3.29

Explore Deep Double Descent

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Extending Othello-GPT

3.3

Try one of Neel's concrete Othello-GPT projects.

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Extending Othello-GPT

3.31

Looking for modular circuits - try to find the circuits used to compute the world model and to use the world model to compute the next move. Try to understand each in isolation and use this to understand how they fit together. See what you can learn about finding modular circuits in general.

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Extending Othello-GPT

3.32

Neuron Interpretability and Studying Superposition - try to understand the model's MLP neurons, and explore what techniques do and don't work. Try to build our understanding of transformer MLP's in general.

Interpreting Algorithmic Problems

Extending Othello-GPT

3.33

Transformer Circuits Laboratory - Explore and test other conjectures about transformer circuits - e.g, can we figure out how the model manages memory in the residual stream?

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Confusions to study in Toy Models of Superposition

4.1

Does dropout create a privileged basis? Put dropout on the hidden layer of the ReLU output model and study how this changes the results.

Post

14 April 2023: Kunvar (firstuserhere)

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Confusions to study in Toy Models of Superposition

4.2

Replicate their absolute value model and study some of the variants of the ReLU output models.

May 4, 2023 - Kunvar (firstuserhere)

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Confusions to study in Toy Models of Superposition

4.3

Explore neuron superposition by training their absolute value model on a more complex function like x -> x^2.

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Confusions to study in Toy Models of Superposition

4.4

What happens to their ReLU output model when there's non-uniform sparsity? E.g, one class of less sparse features and another of very sparse

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Confusions to study in Toy Models of Superposition

4.5

Explore neuron superposition by training their absolute value model on functions of multiple variables. Make inputs binary (0/1) and look at the AND and OR of element pairs.

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Confusions to study in Toy Models of Superposition

4.6

Explore neuron superposition by training their absolute value model on functions of multiple variables. Keep the inputs as uniform reals in [0, 1] and look at max(x, y)

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Confusions to study in Toy Models of Superposition

4.7

Adapt their ReLU output model to have a different range of feature values, and see how this affects things. Make the features 1 (i.e, two possible values)

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Confusions to study in Toy Models of Superposition

4.8

Adapt their ReLU output model to have a different range of feature values, and see how this affects things. Make the features discrete (1, 2, 3)

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Confusions to study in Toy Models of Superposition

4.9

Adapt their ReLU output model to have a different range of feature values, and see how this affects things. Make the features uniform [0.5, 1]

April 30, 2023; Kunvar(firstuserhere)

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Confusions to study in Toy Models of Superposition

4.1

What happens if you replace ReLU's with GeLU's in the toy models?

May 1, 2023 - Kunvar (firstuserhere)

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Confusions to study in Toy Models of Superposition

4.11

Can you find a toy model where GELU acts significantly differently from ReLU?

May 1, 2023 - Kunvar (firstuserhere)

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Building toy models of superposition

4.12

Build a toy model of a classification problem with cross-entropy loss

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Building toy models of superposition

4.13

Build a toy model of neuron superposition that has many more hidden features than output features

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Building toy models of superposition

4.14

Build a toy model that needs multiple hidden layers of ReLU's. Can computation in superposition happen across several layers? Eg max (|x|, |y|)

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Building toy models of superposition

4.15

Build a toy model of attention head superposition/polysemanticity. Can you find a task where the model wants to do different things with an attention head on different inputs? How does it represent things internally / deal with interference?

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Building toy models of superposition

4.16

Build a toy model with a mdoel needs to deal with simultaneous interference, and try to understand how it does it, or if it can.

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Making toy model counterexamples

4.17

Make toy models that are counterexamples in MI. A learned example of a network with a non-linear representation.

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Making toy model counterexamples

4.18

Make toy models that are counterexamples in MI. A network without a discrete number of features.

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Making toy model counterexamples

4.19

Make toy models that are counterexamples in MI. A non-decomposable neural network.

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Making toy model counterexamples

4.2

Make toy models that are counterexamples in MI. A task where networks can learn multiple different sets of features.

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Studying bottleneck superposition in real language models

4.21

Induction heads copy the token they attend to the output, which involves storing which of 50,000 tokens it is. How are these stored in a 64-dimensional space?

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Studying bottleneck superposition in real language models

4.22

How does the previous token head in an induction circuit communicate the value of the previous token to the key of the induction head? Bonus: What residual stream subspace does it take up? Is there interference?

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Studying bottleneck superposition in real language models

4.23

How does the IOI circuit communicate names/positions between composing heads?

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Studying bottleneck superposition in real language models

4.24

Are there dedicated dimensions for positional embeddings? Do any other components write to those dimensions?

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Studying bottleneck superposition in real language models

4.25

Can you find any examples of the geometric superposition configurations in the residual stream of a language model?

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Studying bottleneck superposition in real language models

4.26

Can you find any examples of locally almost-orthogonal bases?

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Studying bottleneck superposition in real language models

4.27

Do language models have "genre" directions that detect the type of text, and then represent features specific to each genre in the same subspace?

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Studying bottleneck superposition in real language models

4.28

Can you find examples of a model learning to deal with simultaneous interference?

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Studying neuron superposition in real models

4.29

Look at a polysemantic neuron in a 1L language model. Can you figure out how the model disambiguates what feature it is?

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Studying neuron superposition in real models

4.3

Look at a polysemantic neuron in a 2L language model. Can you figure out how the model disambiguates what feature it is?

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Studying neuron superposition in real models

4.31

Take a feature that's part of a polysemantic neuron in a 1L language model and try to identify every neuron that represents that feature. Is it sparse or diffuse?

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Studying neuron superposition in real models

4.32

Try to fully reverse engineer a feature discovered in 4.31.

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Studying neuron superposition in real models

4.33

Can you use superposition to create an adversarial example for a neuron?

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Studying neuron superposition in real models

4.34

Can you find any examples of the asymmetric superposition motif in the MLP of a 1-2 layer language model?

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

4.35

Pick a simple feature of language (e.g, is number, is base64) and train a linear probe to detect that in the MLP activations of a 1L language model.

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

4.36

Look for features in Neuroscope that seem to be represented by various neurons in a 1-2 layer language model. Train probes to detect some of them. Compare probe performance vs. neuron performance.

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Comparing SoLU/GELU

4.37

How do TransformerLens SoLU / GeLU models compare in Neuroscope under the SoLU polysemanticity metric? (What fraction of neurons seem monosemantic)

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Comparing SoLU/GELU

4.38

Can you find any better metrics for polysemanticity?

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Comparing SoLU/GELU

4.39

The paper speculates LayerNorm lets the model "smuggle through" superposition in SoLU models by smearing features across many dimensions and letting LayerNorm scale it up. Can you find evidence of this?

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Comparing SoLU/GELU

4.4

How similar are the neurons between SoLU/GELU models of the same layers?

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Comparing SoLU/GELU

4.41

How does GELU vs. ReLU compare re: polysemanticity. Replicate SoLU analysis.

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Getting rid of superposition

4.42

If you train a 1L/2L language model with d_mlp = 100 * d_model, does superposition go away?

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Getting rid of superposition

4.43

Study the T5 XXL. It's 11B params and not supported by TransformerLens. Expect major infrastructure pain.

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Getting rid of superposition

4.44

Can you take a trained model, freeze all weights except an MLP layer, x10 that layer's width, copy each neuron 10 times, add noise, and fine-tune? Does this remove superposition / add new features?

Exploring Polysemanticity and Superposition

Getting rid of superposition

4.45

Pick an open problem at the end of Toy Models of Superposition.

Analysing Training Dynamics

Algorithmic tasks - understanding grokking

5.1

Understanding why 5 digit addition has a phase change per digit (so 6 total?!)

Analysing Training Dynamics

Algorithmic tasks - understanding grokking

5.2

Why do 5-digit addition phase changes happen in that order?

Analysing Training Dynamics

Algorithmic tasks - understanding grokking

5.3

Look at the PCA of logits on the full dataset, or the PCA of a stack of flattened weights. If you plot a scatter plot of the first 2 components, the different phases of training are clearly visible. What's up with this?

Analysing Training Dynamics

Algorithmic tasks - understanding grokking

5.4

Can we predict when grokking will happen? Bonus: Without using any future information?

Analysing Training Dynamics

Algorithmic tasks - understanding grokking

5.5

Understanding why the model chooses specific frequencies (and why it switches mid-training sometimes!)

Analysing Training Dynamics

Algorithmic tasks - understanding grokking

5.6

What happens if we include in the loss one of the progress measures in Neel's grokking post? Can we accelerate or stop grokking?

Analysing Training Dynamics

Algorithmic tasks - understanding grokking

5.7

Adam Jermyn provides an analytical argument and some toy models for why phase transition should be an inherent part of (some of) how models learn. Can you find evidence of this in more complex models?

Analysing Training Dynamics

Algorithmic tasks - understanding grokking

5.8

Build on and refine Adam Jermyn's arguments and toy models - think about how they deviate from a real transformer, and build more faithful models.

Analysing Training Dynamics

Algorithmic tasks - lottery tickets

5.9

For a toy model trained to form induction heads, is there a lottery-ticket style thing going on? Can you disrupt induction head formation by messing with the initialisation?

Analysing Training Dynamics

Algorithmic tasks - lottery tickets

5.1

All Neel's toy models (attn-only, gelu, solu) were trained with the same data shuffle and weight initialisation. Many induction heads aren't shared, but L2H3 in 3L and L1H6 in 2L always are. What's up with that?

Analysing Training Dynamics

Algorithmic tasks - lottery tickets

5.11

If we knock out the parameters that form important circuits at the end of training on some toy task, but knock them out at the start of training, how much does that delay/stop generalisation?

Analysing Training Dynamics

Algorithmic tasks - lottery tickets

5.12

Analysing how pairs of heads in an induction circuit compose over time - Can you find progress measures which predict these?

Analysing Training Dynamics

Algorithmic tasks - lottery tickets

5.13

Analysing how pairs of heads in an induction circuit compose over time - Can we predict which heads will learn to compose first?

Analysing Training Dynamics

Algorithmic tasks - lottery tickets

5.14

Analysing how pairs of heads in an induction circuit compose over time -Does the composition develop as a phase transition?

Analysing Training Dynamics

Understanding fine-tuning

5.15

Build a toy model of fine-tuning (train on task 1, fine-tune on task 2). What is going on internally? Any interesting motifs?

Analysing Training Dynamics

Understanding fine-tuning

5.16

How does model performance change on the original training distribution when finetuning?

Analysing Training Dynamics

Understanding fine-tuning

5.17

How is the model different on fine-tuned text? Look at examples where the model does much better after fine-tuning, and some normal text.

Analysing Training Dynamics

Understanding fine-tuning

5.18

Try activation patching between the old and fine-tuned model and see how hard recovering performance is.

Analysing Training Dynamics

Understanding fine-tuning

5.19

Look at max activating text for various neurons in the original models. How has it changed post fine-tuning?

Analysing Training Dynamics

Understanding fine-tuning

5.2

Explore further and see what's going on with fine-tuning mechanistically.

Analysing Training Dynamics

Understanding fine-tuning

5.21

Can you find any phase transitions in the fine-tuning checkpoints?

Analysing Training Dynamics

Understanding training dynamics in language models

5.22

Can you replicate the induction head phase transition results in the various checkpointed models in TransformerLens? (If code works for attn-only-2l it should work for them all)

Analysing Training Dynamics

Understanding training dynamics in language models

5.23

Look at the neurons in TransformerLens SoLU models during training. Do they tend to form as a phase transition?

Analysing Training Dynamics

Understanding training dynamics in language models

5.24

Use the per-token loss analysis technique from the induction heads paper to look for more phase changes.

Analysing Training Dynamics

Understanding training dynamics in language models

5.25

Look at attention heads on various texts and see if any have recognisable attention patterns, then analyse them over training.

Analysing Training Dynamics

Finding phase transitions

5.26

Look for phase transitions in the Indirect Object Identification task. (Note: This might not have a phase change)

Analysing Training Dynamics

Finding phase transitions

5.27

Try digging into the specific heads that act on IOI and look for phase transitions. Use direct logit attribution for the name movers.

Analysing Training Dynamics

Finding phase transitions

5.28

Study the attention patterns of each category of heads in IOI for phase transitions.

Analysing Training Dynamics

Finding phase transitions

5.29

Look for phase transitions in simple IOI-style algorithmic tasks, like few-shot learning, addition, sorting words alphabetically...

Analysing Training Dynamics

Finding phase transitions

5.3

Look for phase transitions in soft induction heads like translation.

Analysing Training Dynamics

Finding phase transitions

5.31

Look for phase transitions in benchmark performance or specific questions from a benchmark.

Analysing Training Dynamics

Finding phase transitions

5.32

Hypothesis: Scaling laws happen because models experience a ton of tiny phase changes which average out to a smooth curve due to the law of large numbers. Can you find evidence for or against that?

Analysing Training Dynamics

Studying path dependence

5.33

How much do the Stanford CRFM models have similar outputs on a given text?

Analysing Training Dynamics

Studying path dependence

5.34

How much do the Stanford CRFM models differ with algorithmic tasks like Indirect Object Identification?

Analysing Training Dynamics

Studying path dependence

5.35

Look for Indirect Object Identification capability in other models of approximately the same size.

Analysing Training Dynamics

Studying path dependence

5.36

When model scale varies (e.g, GPT-2 small vs. medium) is there anything the smaller model can do that the larger one can't do? (Look at difference in per token log prob)

Analysing Training Dynamics

Studying path dependence

5.37

Try applying the Git Re-Basin techniques to a 2L MLP trained for modular addition. Does this work? If you use Neel's grokking work to analyse the circuits involved, how does the re-basin technique map onto the circuits?

Analysing Training Dynamics

Studying path dependence

5.38

Can you find some problem where you understand the circuits and Git Re-Basin does work?

Techniques, Tooling, and Automation

Breaking current techniques

6.1

Try to find concrete edge cases where a technique breaks - start with a misleading example in a real model or training a toy model with one.

Techniques, Tooling, and Automation

Breaking current techniques

6.2

Break direct logit attribution - start by looking at GPT-Neo Small where the logit lens (precursor to direct logit attribution) seems to work badly, but works well if you include the final layer and the unembed.

Techniques, Tooling, and Automation

Breaking current techniques

6.3

Can you fix direct logit attribution in GPT-Neo small, e.g, by finding a linear approximation to the final layer by taking gradients? (Eleuther's tuned lens in #interp-across-depth would be a good place to start)

Techniques, Tooling, and Automation

Breaking current techniques

6.4

Find edge cases where linearising LayerNorm breaks. See some work by Eric Winsor at Conjecture.

Techniques, Tooling, and Automation

Breaking current techniques

6.5

Find edge cases where activation patching breaks. (It should break when you patch one variable but there's dependence on multiples)

Techniques, Tooling, and Automation

Breaking current techniques

6.6

Find edge cases where causal scrubbing breaks.

Techniques, Tooling, and Automation

Breaking current techniques

6.7

Find edge cases where ablations break. (Start w/ backup name movers in the IOI circuit, where we know zero ablations break)

Techniques, Tooling, and Automation

Breaking current techniques

6.8

Can you find places where one ablation (zero, mean, random) breaks but the others don't?

Techniques, Tooling, and Automation

Breaking current techniques

6.9

Find edge cases where composition scores break. (They don't work well for the IOI circuit)

Techniques, Tooling, and Automation

Breaking current techniques

6.1

Find edge cases where eigenvalue copying scores break.

Techniques, Tooling, and Automation

Breaking current techniques

6.11

Automate ways to identify heads that compose. Start with IOI circuit and the composition scores in A Mathematical Framework.

Techniques, Tooling, and Automation

6.12

Try looking for composition on a specific input. Decompose the residual stream into the sum of outputs of previous heads, then decompose query, key, value into sums of terms from each previous head. Are any larger than the others / matter more if you ablate them / etc?

Techniques, Tooling, and Automation

6.13

Can you automate direct path patching as used in the IOI paper?

Techniques, Tooling, and Automation

6.14

Compare causal tracing to activation patching. Do they give the same outputs? Can you find situations where one breaks and the other doesn't? (Try IOI task or factual recall task)

Techniques, Tooling, and Automation

ROME activation patching

6.15

In the ROME paper, they do activation patching by patching over the outputs of 10 adjacent MLP or attention layers. (Look at logit difference after patching). How do results change when you do single layers?

Techniques, Tooling, and Automation

ROME activation patching

6.16

In the ROME paper, they do activation patching by patching over the outputs of 10 adjacent MLP or attention layers. (Look at logit difference after patching). Can you get anywhere when patching specific neurons?

Techniques, Tooling, and Automation

ROME activation patching

6.17

In the ROME paper, they do activation patching by patching over the outputs of 10 adjacent MLP or attention layers. (Look at logit difference after patching). Can you get anywhere when patching some set of neurons? (E.g, the neurons that activate the most within the 10 layers?)

Techniques, Tooling, and Automation

Automatically find circuits

6.18

Automate ways to find previous token heads. (Bonus: Add to TransformerLens!)

Techniques, Tooling, and Automation

Automatically find circuits

6.19

Automate ways to find duplicate token heads. (Bonus: Add to TransformerLens!)

Techniques, Tooling, and Automation

Automatically find circuits

6.2

Automate ways to find induction heads. (Bonus: Add to TransformerLens!)

Techniques, Tooling, and Automation

Automatically find circuits

6.21

Automate ways to find translation heads. (Bonus: Add to TransformerLens!)

Techniques, Tooling, and Automation

Automatically find circuits

6.22

Automate ways to find few shot learning heads. (Bonus: Add to TransformerLens!)

Techniques, Tooling, and Automation

Automatically find circuits

6.23

Can you find an automated way to detect pointer arithmetic based induction heads vs. classic induction heads?

Techniques, Tooling, and Automation

Automatically find circuits

6.24

Can you find an automated way to detect the heads used in the IOI Circuit? (S-inhibition, name mover, negative name mover, backup name mover)