Exploring the Impact of Instruction Data Scaling on Large Language Models: An Empirical Study on Real-World Use Cases
The success of ChatGPT has recently attracted numerous efforts to replicate it, with instruction-tuning strategies being a key factor in achieving remarkable results. Instruction-tuning not only significantly enhances the model's performance and generalization but also makes the model's generated results more consistent with human speech patterns. However current research rarely studies the impact of different amounts of instruction data on model performance, especially in the real-world use cases. In this paper we explore the performance of large language models based on instruction tuning across different scales of instruction data. An evaluation dataset consisting of 12 major online use cases is constructed in the experiment. With Bloomz-7B1-mt as the base model, the results show that 1) merely increasing the amount of instruction data leads to continuous improvement in tasks such as open-ended generation, 2) in tasks such as math and code, the model performance curve remains quite flat while increasing data size. We further analyze the possible causes of these phenomena and propose potential future research directions such as effectively selecting high-quality training data, scaling base models and training methods specialized for hard tasks. We will release our training and evaluation datasets, as well as model checkpoints.