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Mistral 7b: An emergence in the large language model realm 

Data Science Dojo

Waleed Ahmed

January 15

Mistral AI, a startup co-founded by individuals with experience at Google’s DeepMind and Meta, made a significant entrance into the world of LLMs with Mistral 7B.

This model can be easily accessed and downloaded from GitHub or via a 13.4-gigabyte torrent, emphasizing accessibility. Mistral 7b, a 7.3 billion parameter model with the sheer size of some of its competitors, Mistral 7b punches well above its weight in terms of capability and efficiency. 

What makes Mistral 7b a great competitor? 

One of the key strengths of Mistral 7b lies in its architecture. Unlike many LLMs relying solely on transformer networks, Mistral 7b incorporates a hybrid approach, leveraging transformers and recurrent neural networks (RNNs). This unique blend allows Mistral 7b to excel at tasks that require both long-term memory and context awareness, such as question answering and code generation. 

Furthermore, Mistral 7b utilizes innovative attention mechanisms like group query attention and sliding window attention. These techniques enable the model to focus on relevant parts of the input data more effectively, improving performance and efficiency. 


Learn in detail about llm evaluation method


Mistral 7b architecture 

Mistral 7B is an architecture based on transformer architecture and introduces several innovative features and parameters. Here’s a gist of the architectural details: 


  1. Sliding window attention: 

Mistral 7B addresses the quadratic complexity of vanilla attention by implementing Sliding Window Attention (SWA). 

SWA allows each token to attend to a maximum of W tokens from the previous layer (here, W = 3). 

Tokens outside the sliding window still influence next-word prediction. 

Information can propagate forward by up to k × W tokens after k attention layers. 

Parameters include dim = 4096, n_layers = 32, head_dim = 128, hidden_dim = 14336, n_heads = 32, n_kv_heads = 8, window_size = 4096, context_len = 8192, and vocab_size = 32000. 



sliding window attention




2. Rolling Buffer Cache: 

This fixed-size cache serves as the “memory” for the sliding window attention. It efficiently stores key-value pairs for recent timesteps, eliminating the need for recomputing that information. A set attention span stays constant, managed by a rolling buffer cache limiting its size. 

Within the cache, each time step’s keys and values are stored at a specific location, determined by i mod W, where W is the fixed cache size. When the position i exceeds W, previous values in the cache get replaced. 

This method slashes cache memory usage by 8 times while maintaining the model’s effectiveness. 



Rolling buffer cache




3. Pre-fill and chunking: 

During sequence generation, the cache is pre-filled with the provided prompt to enhance context. For long prompts, chunking divides them into smaller segments, each treated with both cache and current chunk attention, further optimizing the process.

When creating a sequence, tokens are guessed step by step, with each token relying on the ones that came before it. The starting information, known as the prompt, lets us fill the (key, value) cache beforehand with this prompt.

The chunk size can determine the window size, and the attention mask is used across both the cache and the chunk. This ensures the model gets the necessary information while staying efficient. 


pre fill and chunking




Comparison of performance: Mistral 7B vs Llama2-13B  

The true test of any LLM lies in its performance on real-world tasks. Mistral 7b has been benchmarked against several established models, including Llama 2 (13B parameters) and Llama 1 (34B parameters).

The results are impressive, with Mistral 7b outperforming both models on all tasks tested. It even approaches the performance of CodeLlama 7B (also 7B parameters) on code-related tasks while maintaining strong performance on general language tasks. Performance comparisons were conducted across a wide range of benchmarks, encompassing various aspects.


Large language model bootcamp


1. Performance comparison 

Mistral 7B surpasses Llama2-13B across various benchmarks, excelling in commonsense reasoning, world knowledge, reading comprehension, and mathematical tasks. Its dominance isn’t marginal; it’s a robust demonstration of its capabilities. 


2. Equivalent Model Capacity 

In reasoning, comprehension, and STEM tasks, Mistral 7B functions akin to a Llama2 model over three times its size. This not only highlights its efficiency in memory usage but also its enhanced processing speed. Essentially, it offers immense power within an elegantly streamlined design. 


3. Knowledge-based assessments 

Mistral 7B demonstrates superiority in most assessments and competes equally with Llama2-13B in knowledge-based benchmarks. This parallel performance in knowledge tasks is especially intriguing, given Mistral 7B’s comparatively restrained parameter count. 


mistral 7b assessment 



Beyond benchmarks: Practical applications 

The capabilities of Mistral 7b extend far beyond benchmark scores Mistral 7B isn’t limited to a single skill. It performs exceptionally well across various tasks, spanning code-related fields and English language tasks. Remarkably, it matches CodeLlama-7B’s performance in coding tasks, highlighting its adaptability and wide-ranging abilities.  Some of the common works in each field are mentioned below: 

  • Natural Language Processing (NLP): Machine translation, text summarization, question answering, and sentiment analysis. 
  • Code Generation and Analysis: Generate code snippets, translate natural language to code, and analyze existing code for potential issues. 
  • Creative Writing: Compose poems, scripts, musical pieces, and other creative text formats. 
  • Education and Research: Assist with research tasks, generate educational materials, and personalize learning experiences. 



mistral 7b and llama 



llama 2 and mistral



A cost-effective Solution 

One of the most compelling aspects of Mistral 7b is its cost-effectiveness. Compared to models of similar size, Mistral 7b requires significantly less computational resources to run. This makes it a more accessible option for individuals and organizations with limited budgets. Additionally, Mistral AI offers flexible deployment options, allowing users to run the model on their own infrastructure or through the cloud. 


Versatile deployment 

Mistral 7B stands out due to its Apache 2.0 license, granting broad accessibility for diverse users, including individuals, major corporations, and governmental bodies.

This open-source license not only ensures inclusivity but also permits customization and adaptation to suit specific needs. It empowers users to modify, share, and utilize Mistral 7B for a wide array of applications, fostering innovation and collaboration in the community. 


The decentralization issue vs transparency 

Mistral AI prioritizes transparency and open access, yet safety concerns arise due to the fully decentralized ‘Mistral-7B-v0.1’ model, capable of unmoderated response generation.

Unlike models such as GPT and Llama, it lacks mechanisms to discern appropriate responses, posing potential exploitation risks. However, despite safety concerns, decentralized Language Model Models (LLMs) offer advantages, democratizing AI access and enabling positive applications. 


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Mistral 7b is a testament to the power of innovation in the LLM domain. Despite its relatively small size, it has established itself as a force to be reckoned with, delivering impressive performance across a wide range of tasks. With its focus on efficiency and cost-effectiveness, Mistral 7b is poised to democratize access to cutting-edge language technology and shape the future of how we interact with machines. 


Data Science Dojo

Written by Waleed Ahmed

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