Zero-Resource Hallucination Prevention for Large Language Models

by   Junyu Luo, et al.

The prevalent use of large language models (LLMs) in various domains has drawn attention to the issue of "hallucination," which refers to instances where LLMs generate factually inaccurate or ungrounded information. Existing techniques for hallucination detection in language assistants rely on intricate fuzzy, specific free-language-based chain of thought (CoT) techniques or parameter-based methods that suffer from interpretability issues. Additionally, the methods that identify hallucinations post-generation could not prevent their occurrence and suffer from inconsistent performance due to the influence of the instruction format and model style. In this paper, we introduce a novel pre-detection self-evaluation technique, referred to as SELF-FAMILIARITY, which focuses on evaluating the model's familiarity with the concepts present in the input instruction and withholding the generation of response in case of unfamiliar concepts. This approach emulates the human ability to refrain from responding to unfamiliar topics, thus reducing hallucinations. We validate SELF-FAMILIARITY across four different large language models, demonstrating consistently superior performance compared to existing techniques. Our findings propose a significant shift towards preemptive strategies for hallucination mitigation in LLM assistants, promising improvements in reliability, applicability, and interpretability.


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