# Merging Adapters¶

The adapters library allows new adapters to be created by combining the parameters of multiple trained adapters, i.e. merging multiple existing adapters into a new one. This allows efficient domain, language and task transfer. Adapter Merging is a form of Task Arithmetics (Ilharco et al., 2023; Zhang et al., 2023) and hence allows increasing or unlearning specific skills. Unlearning is done by using negative weights.

The average_adapter() method provides this merging functionality:

model.add_adapter("bottleneck_1", "seq_bn")
model.add_adapter("bottleneck_2", "seq_bn")
model.add_adapter("bottleneck_3", "seq_bn")

model.average_adapter(adapter_name="avg", adapter_list=["bottleneck_1", "bottleneck_2", "bottleneck_3"], weights=[-1, 1.2, 0.8])


In this example, the parameters of the three added bottleneck adapters are merged (with weights -1, 1.2 and 0.8, respectively) to create a new adapter avg. Note that for this to succeed, all averaged adapters must use the same adapter configuration. Compared to the output averaging composition block, merging parameters of adapters has the advantage of not inducing any additional inference time relative to using a single adapter.

All adapter methods support linear merging. In linear merging, the weights of the trained adapters are linearly combined: Let us have N adapters and let $$\Phi_i$$ be all the parameters of the i-th adapter, and $$\lambda_i$$ be the corresponding weight that determines how strongly we weigh this adapter. The merged adapter parameters $$\Phi_{merged}$$ are calculated as:

$\Phi_{merged} = \sum_{i=0}^{N} \lambda_i \Phi_i$

The average_adapter method only merges the weights of the adapters but does not create a new head. To average the weights of heads, use the average_head method. Since heads are usually linear layers, the average_head method uses linear merging:

model.add_masked_lm_head("head_1")
model.add_masked_lm_head("head_2")

model.average_head(head_name="avg_head", head_list=["head_1", "head_2"], weights=[0.2, 0.8])


## Merging LoRA Adapters¶

LoRA introduces $$A$$ and $$B$$ matrices with $$\Delta W = BA$$. Since the B and A matrices are strongly dependent on each other, there are several ways to merge the weights of LoRA adapters. You can choose the combination method by passing the combine_strategy parameter to the average_adapter method:

1. combine_strategy = "linear": Linear Combination (default). This has been proposed for LoRA by Chronopoulou et al. (2023). With $$\Phi = \{A, B\}$$:

$\Phi_{merged} = \sum_{i=0}^{N} \lambda_i \Phi_i$
2. combine_strategy = "lora_linear_only_negate_b" Following Zhang et al. (2023), this method only uses negative weights for the B-matrix if the weight is negative:

$\begin{split} A_{merged} &= \sum_{i=0}^{N} |\lambda_i| A_i\\ B_{merged} &= \sum_{i=0}^{N} \lambda_i B_i \end{split}$
3. combine_strategy = "lora_delta_w_svd": This method merges the $$\Delta W_i$$ of each adapter and then performs a singular value decomposition (SVD) to obtain the A and B LoRA matrices:

1. For every adapter i we calculate: $$\Delta W_i = B_i \cdot A_i$$

2. $$\Delta W_{new} = \sum_{i=0}^N \lambda_i \cdot W_i$$

3. Perform SVD on $$\text{SVD}(\Delta W_{new})$$ to obtain $$A_{new}$$ and $$B_{new}$$

lora_delta_w_svd is not supported by Deberta and GPT-2. Example usage of these LoRA-specific merging strategies:

model.add_adapter("lora_1", "seq_bn")
model.add_adapter("lora_2", "seq_bn")
model.add_adapter("lora_3", "seq_bn")

model.average_adapter(
adapter_name="lora_avg",
adapter_list=["lora_1", "lora_2", "lora_3"],
weights=[1, -1, 1],
combine_strategy="lora_delta_w_svd",
svd_rank=8
)
# Note that "lora_delta_w_svd" requires the "svd_rank" parameter, which determines the r (rank) of the resulting LoRA adapter after SVD


For both output and parameter averaging, passed weights are normalized by default. To disable normalization, pass normalize_weights=False. For more detailed examples and explanations, refer to our Task Arithmetic notebook.

Tip

Adding more adapter merging methods is easy: You have to simply modify the average_adapter method. Most adapter-methods use the default implementation that only supports linear merging in model_mixin.py. Others like LoRA overwrite this method to add new merging methods like “lora_delta_w_svd”, have a look at lora.py.