Mistral 7B: An Open-Source LLM Pushing the Frontiers of AI

The field of artificial intelligence has seen rapid advances in recent years, particularly in the domain of large language models (LLMs). These models, with their vast parameters and ability to understand and generate natural language, are unlocking new possibilities for AI. One of the most promising new LLMs is Mistral 7B, an open-source model developed by startup Mistral AI. With 7.3 billion parameters, Mistral 7B represents the cutting-edge of generative AI capabilities.

We’ll provide an overview of Mistral 7B and its key features. We’ll explore how its sliding window attention mechanism provides enhanced context understanding. We’ll also discuss benchmark performance, comparisons to other models, open-source accessibility, and fine-tuning capabilities. Mistral 7B demonstrates the potential of large language models to empower new AI applications and use cases. As an open-source model, it signals a shift towards greater openness and customization in the AI field.

Overview of Mistral 7B

Mistral 7B is an open-source large language model (LLM) developed by Mistral AI, a startup in the AI sector. It is a 7.3 billion parameter model that uses a sliding window attention mechanism. Mistral 7B is designed to revolutionize generative artificial intelligence and offer superior adaptability, enabling customization to specific tasks and user needs. Some key features of Mistral 7B include:

Parameter size: Mistral 7B is a 7.3 billion parameter model, making it one of the most powerful language models for its size to date.

Sliding window attention mechanism: Mistral 7B uses a sliding window attention mechanism, in which each layer attends to the previous 4,096 hidden states.

Open-source: Mistral 7B is an open-source model released under the Apache 2.0 license, which means it can be used without restrictions.

Fine-tuning capabilities: Mistral 7B can be fine-tuned for specific tasks, such as chat or instruction datasets, and has shown compelling performance.

Mistral 7B has been compared to other large language models, such as Llama 2 13B and Llama 1 34B, and has outperformed them on many benchmarks. It has also approached CodeLlama 7B performance on code while remaining good at English tasks. Mistral 7B’s raw model weights are distributed with Bittorrent and on Hugging Face.

Key Features and Capabilities

Mistral 7B is a language model released by Mistral AI team. It is a 7.3B parameter model that outperforms Llama 2 13B on all benchmarks, outperforms Llama 1 34B on many benchmarks, and approaches CodeLlama 7B performance on code while remaining good at English tasks. It uses Grouped-query attention (GQA) for faster inference and Sliding Window Attention (SWA) to handle longer sequences at smaller cost. Mistral 7B is easy to fine-tune on any task and can be used without restrictions. It can be downloaded and used anywhere with their reference implementation, deployed on any cloud using vLLM inference server and skypilot, and used on HuggingFace. Mistral 7B is fine-tuned for chat and outperforms Llama 2 13B chat.


Sliding Window Attention for Enhanced Context

Vanilla attention

Causal attention mask

First off we have Vanilla attention. What this basically means is that attention is how information is shared between tokens in a sequence. In vanilla transformers, attention follows a causal mask: each token in the sequence can attend to itself and all the tokens in the past. This ensures that the model is causal, i.e. it can only use information from the past to predict the future.

Sliding window to speed-up inference and reduce memory pressure

The number of operations of attention is quadratic in the sequence length, and the memory pressure is linear in the sequence length. At inference time, this incurs higher latency and smaller throughput due to reduced cache availability. To alleviate this issue, we use a sliding window attention [1,2]: each token can attend to at most W tokens in the past (here, W=3).

Sliding window attention

Rolling buffer cache

We implement a rolling buffer cache. The cache has a fixed size of W, and we store the (key, value) for position i in cache position i % W. When the position i is larger than W, past values in the cache are overwritten.

Benchmark Performance and Comparisons

The benchmarks are categorized by their themes. This data shows the performance of different models on various metrics. The models are LLAMA 2 7B, LLAMA 2 13B, Code LLAMA 7B, and Mistral 72B along with several metrics.


Some possible analysis that we can make from this data are:

  • It compares pretrained models like LLAMA and Mistral to a finetuned model (Code LLAMA). Finetuning generally improves performance on specific tasks.
  • LLAMA and Mistral are large pretrained models with 7B and 13B parameters. More parameters usually leads to better performance, as seen by LLAMA 13B outperforming LLAMA 7B.
  • Performance varies significantly across datasets. For example, all models perform very poorly on the math dataset compared to the other NLU tasks. This suggests these models still struggle with mathematical and symbolic reasoning.
  • The finetuned Code LLAMA model does much better on the HumanEval dataset compared to the pretrained models. This dataset seems to benefit more from finetuning towards a specific type of text.
  • Mistral outperforms LLAMA on most datasets, suggesting Mistral is a better pretrained model overall. The GSM8K dataset shows the biggest difference, indicating Mistral has advantages for conversational tasks.

In summary, the data compares different NLP models across a variety of tasks and datasets. It highlights model size, finetuning, and choice of pretrained model as key factors influencing performance. More analysis could examine specific model architectures, training data, etc. to further understand differences.

Open-Source Accessibility

Mistral is open sourced under the Apache License 2.0 license. You can try it for free with Perplexity Labs. This is a new addition of open source models such as LLAMA, Falcon and PaLM.

Fine-Tuning for Customization

One of the key strengths of Mistral 7B is its ability to be fine-tuned for specific tasks or datasets. While the base model demonstrates strong general performance, customization through fine-tuning allows it to excel at more specialized applications.

Early testing shows that Mistral 7B fine-tunes well and is able to follow instructions clearly after fine-tuning. It appears to be a robust and adaptable model overall. This makes it well-suited for fine-tuning on tasks like conversational AI, classification, summarization, and more.

Given Mistral 7B’s strong performance on code tasks already, there is significant potential to fine-tune it for specialized coding and software engineering applications. We can expect to see fine-tuned versions of Mistral 7B for code generation, bug fixing, and other coding domains in the near future.

The ability to easily customize and adapt Mistral 7B to specific use cases makes it a versatile option for organizations and developers. Fine-tuning unlocks its full potential while retaining its general intelligence capabilities.


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