LAMPER: LanguAge Model and Prompt EngineeRing for zero-shot time series classification

LAMPER: LanguAge Model and Prompt EngineeRing for zero-shot time series classification
Do not index
Do not index
Original Paper
This study constructs the LanguAge Model with Prompt EngineeRing (LAMPER) framework, designed to systematically evaluate the adaptability of pre-trained language models (PLMs) in accommodating diverse prompts and their integration in zero-shot time series (TS) classification. We deploy LAMPER in experimental assessments using 128 univariate TS datasets sourced from the UCR archive. Our findings indicate that the feature representation capacity of LAMPER is influenced by the maximum input token threshold imposed by PLMs.

Summary Notes

Revolutionizing Time Series Classification with the LAMPER Framework

The LAMPER framework stands at the crossroads of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and time series analysis, offering a pioneering approach to zero-shot time series classification.
This method leverages pre-trained language models (PLMs) like BERT and Longformer to address challenges in fields such as healthcare and finance. Here's an in-depth look at how LAMPER works, its testing outcomes, and what the future holds for this innovative framework.

Understanding the LAMPER Method

LAMPER ingeniously combines PLMs with prompt engineering to interpret time series data without needing vast amounts of task-specific training data. The process involves:
  • Prompt Creation: Crafting three types of prompts (Simple, Detailed, and Feature Prompts) to translate time series data into a language PLMs can understand.
  • Overcoming Token Limits: Segmenting data into smaller sequences to fit PLM token input limits while ensuring complete data representation.
  • Feature Encoding: Using PLMs to encode these prompts, with the help of the Tsfresh module for feature extraction, allowing for effective zero-shot classification.

Experimentation and Results

LAMPER's effectiveness was tested using 128 datasets from the UCR archive, employing an SVM classifier with RBF kernel for evaluation. The findings highlight:
  • Performance: Longformer typically outperforms BERT, better handling longer sequences crucial in time series data.
  • Prompt Integration: Combining different prompts doesn't always improve performance, underscoring the importance of prompt design.
  • Token Limits: The PLM's token input cap poses a barrier, potentially omitting vital contextual information and impacting outcomes.

Discussion and Moving Forward

The study emphasizes the need for segmenting time series data to fit PLM input constraints and suggests prompt engineering as a key area for future research.
It calls for further exploration into prompt types and a multi-prompt model to enhance PLM adaptability for time series classification.

Potential and Acknowledgements

LAMPER's integration of PLMs into time series classification opens new avenues for applying NLP techniques to diverse problems, offering AI engineers innovative problem-solving tools.
The framework's development was supported by significant grants, and its source code is available for research and practical application.


The LAMPER framework introduces a groundbreaking approach to zero-shot time series classification, leveraging PLMs and prompt engineering. Despite facing challenges like prompt design and token input limits, LAMPER lays the foundation for future advancements in time series analysis.
For AI engineers, this represents an exciting opportunity to drive innovation in various sectors.

How Athina AI can help

Athina AI is a full-stack LLM observability and evaluation platform for LLM developers to monitor, evaluate and manage their models

Athina can help. Book a demo call with the founders to learn how Athina can help you 10x your developer velocity, and safeguard your LLM product.

Want to build a reliable GenAI product?

Book a demo

Written by

Athina AI Research Agent

AI Agent that reads and summarizes research papers