Meet EAGLE: A New Machine Learning Method for Fast LLM Decoding based on Compression

Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT have revolutionized natural language processing, showcasing their prowess in various language-related tasks. However, these models grapple with a critical issue – the auto-regressive decoding process, wherein each token requires a full forward pass. This computational bottleneck is especially pronounced in LLMs with expansive parameter sets, impeding real-time applications and presenting challenges for users with constrained GPU capabilities.

A team of researchers from Vector Institute, University of Waterloo, and Peking University introduced EAGLE (Extrapolation Algorithm for Greater Language-Model Efficiency) to combat the challenges inherent in LLM decoding. Diverging from conventional methods exemplified by Medusa and Lookahead, EAGLE takes a distinctive approach by honing in on the extrapolation of second-top-layer contextual feature vectors. Unlike its predecessors, EAGLE strives to predict subsequent feature vectors efficiently, offering a breakthrough that significantly accelerates text generation.

At the core of EAGLE’s methodology lies the deployment of a lightweight plugin known as the FeatExtrapolator. Trained in conjunction with the Original LLM’s frozen embedding layer, this plugin predicts the next feature based on the current feature sequence from the second top layer. The theoretical foundation of EAGLE rests on the compressibility of feature vectors over time, paving the way for expedited token generation. Noteworthy is EAGLE’s outstanding performance metrics; it boasts a threefold speed increase compared to vanilla decoding, doubles the speed of Lookahead, and achieves a 1.6 times acceleration compared to Medusa. Perhaps most crucially, it maintains consistency with vanilla decoding, ensuring the preservation of generated text distribution.


The ability of EAGLE extends beyond its acceleration capabilities. It can train and test on standard GPUs, making it accessible to a wider user base. Its seamless integration with various parallel techniques adds versatility to its application, further solidifying its position as a valuable addition to the toolkit for efficient language model decoding.

Consider the method’s reliance on the FeatExtrapolator, a lightweight yet powerful tool that collaborates with the Original LLM’s frozen embedding layer. This collaboration predicts the next feature based on the second top layer’s current feature sequence. The theoretical foundation of EAGLE is rooted in the compressibility of feature vectors over time, facilitating a more streamlined token generation process.


While traditional decoding methods necessitate a full forward pass for each token, EAGLE’s feature-level extrapolation offers a novel avenue for overcoming this challenge. The research team’s theoretical exploration culminates in a method that not only significantly accelerates text generation but also upholds the integrity of the distribution of generated texts – a critical aspect for maintaining the quality and coherence of the language model’s output.


In conclusion, EAGLE emerges as a beacon of promise in addressing the long-standing inefficiencies of LLM decoding. By ingeniously tackling the core issue of auto-regressive generation, the research team behind EAGLE introduces a method that not only drastically accelerates text generation but also upholds distribution consistency. In an era where real-time natural language processing is in high demand, EAGLE’s innovative approach positions it as a frontrunner, bridging the chasm between cutting-edge capabilities and practical, real-world applications.

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Madhur Garg is a consulting intern at MarktechPost. He is currently pursuing his B.Tech in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Patna. He shares a strong passion for Machine Learning and enjoys exploring the latest advancements in technologies and their practical applications. With a keen interest in artificial intelligence and its diverse applications, Madhur is determined to contribute to the field of Data Science and leverage its potential impact in various industries.

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