Workshop on the Scaling Behavior of Large Language Models


Malta, 21-22 March 2024, co-located with EACL 2024


The purpose of this workshop is to provide a venue to share and discuss results of investigations into the scaling behavior of Large Language Models (LLMs). We are particularly interested in results displaying "interesting" scaling curves (e.g., inverse, u-shaped, or inverse u-shaped scaling curves) for a variety of tasks. These results, where the performance of the LLMs decreases with increasing model size or follows a non-monotonic trend, deviating from the expected "the bigger, the better" positive scaling laws, are of great scientific interest as they can reveal intrinsic limitations of current LLM architectures and training paradigms and they provide novel research directions towards a better understanding of these models and of possible approaches to improve them. Recently, there has been an increasing interest in these phenomena from the research community, culminating in the Inverse Scaling Prize ([McKenzie et al. 2023](pdf/inverse_scaling_prize_paper.pdf)), which solicited tasks to be systematically evaluated according to a standardized protocol in order to perform a systematic study. The SCALE-LLM Workshop will expand these efforts. In contrast to the Inverse Scaling Prize, which focused on zero-shot tasks with a fixed format, we are also interested in, for example, few-shot and alternate prompting strategies (e.g. Chain-of-Thoughts), multi-step interactions (e.g. Tree-of-Thoughts, self-critique), hardening against prompt injection attacks (e.g. user input escaping, canary tokens), etc.

Main Workshop Topics

The workshop will provide focused discussions on multiple topics in the general field of Scaling behavior of Large Language Models, including, but not limited to the following: 1. Novel tasks that exhibit Inverse, U-shaped, Inverse U-shaped or other types of scaling; 2. Scaling behavior of fine-tuned or purpose-built models, in particular in-distribution (w.r.t. the fine-tuning dataset) vs. out-of-distribution; 3. Scaling with adaptive prompting strategies, e.g. allowing intermediate "reasoning" steps, model self-critique or use of external tools; 4. Scaling w.r.t. additional dimensions, such as the number of in-context/fine-tuning examples, the number of "reasoning" steps, or the intrinsic task complexity; 5. Scaling on non-English language tasks, in particular low-resource languages, where models might exhibit tradeoffs as high-resource language training data overwhelms low-resource language capabilities; 6. Scaling w.r.t. qualitative characteristics: internal aspects (e.g. modularity, mechanistic interpretability), calibration, uncertainty, effectiveness of various techniques (pruning, defences against adversarial attacks, etc.).

Important dates

* **Workshop paper submission deadline: December 18, 2023** * EACL rejected paper submission deadline (ARR pre-reviewed): January 17, 2024 * Notification of acceptance: January 20, 2024 * Camera-ready papers due: January 30 2024 * Workshop dates: March 21 or 22, 2024

Submission instructions

We solicit short and long paper submissions with no more than **4 and 8 pages**, respectively, plus unlimited pages for references and appendices. Papers must contain "**Limitations**" and "**Ethics Statement**" sections which will not count towards the page limit. Upon acceptance, **one additional page** will be provided to address the reviewers' comments. Paper submissions must use the official [ACL style templates]( and must follow the [ACL formatting guidelines]( All submissions must be anonymous. De-anonymized versions of the submitted papers **may** be released on pre-print servers such as arXiv, however, we kindly ask the authors not discuss these papers on social media during the review period. Please, **send your submissions** to our [OpenReview interface]( We can also consider papers submitted via **ACL Rolling Reviews (ARR)** to EACL and rejected. A paper may not be simultaneously under review through ARR and SCALE-LLM. A paper that has or will receive reviews through ARR may not be submitted for review to SCALE-LLM. Keep in mind that ARR has stricter anonymity requirements regarding pre-print servers and social media, so make sure you do not de-anonymize papers submitted through ARR by posting them on arXiv or social media. Please refer to the [ARR instructions for autors]( for more information.

Student scholarship

Thanks to our Platinum sponsor Google, we can offer financial support to a limited number of students from low-income countries or other disadvantaged financial situation who would like to participate to the SCALE-LLM workshop. We may able to cover the EACL virtual conference registration fee. We will prioritize students who are authors of one of the accepted papers. If you are interested in receiving financial support, please [contact us](correspondence) before January 30 2024, explaning your situation.

Invited Speaker

Najoung Kim will give a keynote talk. Dr. Kim is an Assistant Professor at Boston University and a researcher at Google. She is one of the authors of the Inverse Scaling Prize paper as well as other foundational works in this field.

Najoung Kim

Assistant Professor at Boston University


To be decided

Organizing Committee

Antonio Valerio Miceli-Barone

Antonio Valerio Miceli-Barone

Research Associate, University of Edinburgh

Fazl Barez

Fazl Barez

Research fellow, University of Oxford

Shay Cohen

Shay Cohen

Reader, University of Edinburgh

Elena Voita

Elena Voita

Research Scientist, Meta

Ulrich Germann

Ulrich Germann

Senior Computing Officer (Research)

Michal Lukasik

Michal Lukasik

Researcher, Google Research