In this paper, we present a Multi-Task Deep Neural Network (MT-DNN) for learning representations across multiple natural language understanding (NLU) tasks. MT-DNN not only leverages large amounts of cross-task data, but also benefits from a regularization effect that leads to more general representations in order to adapt to new tasks and domains. MT-DNN extends the model proposed in Liu et al. (2015) by incorporating a pre-trained bidirectional transformer language model, known as BERT (Devlin et al., 2018). MT-DNN obtains new state-of-the-art results on ten NLU tasks, including SNLI, SciTail, and eight out of nine GLUE tasks, pushing the GLUE benchmark to 82.2% (1.8% absolute improvement). We also demonstrate using the SNLI and SciTail datasets that the representations learned by MT-DNN allow domain adaptation with substantially fewer in-domain labels than the pre-trained BERT representations. Our code and pre-trained models will be made publicly available.
Language model pre-training, such as BERT, has significantly improved the performances of many natural language processing tasks. However, pre-trained language models are usually computationally expensive and memory intensive, so it is difficult to effectively execute them on some resource-restricted devices. To accelerate inference and reduce model size while maintaining accuracy, we firstly propose a novel transformer distillation method that is a specially designed knowledge distillation (KD) method for transformer-based models. By leveraging this new KD method, the plenty of knowledge encoded in a large teacher BERT can be well transferred to a small student TinyBERT. Moreover, we introduce a new two-stage learning framework for TinyBERT, which performs transformer distillation at both the pre-training and task-specific learning stages. This framework ensures that TinyBERT can capture both the general-domain and task-specific knowledge of the teacher BERT. TinyBERT is empirically effective and achieves comparable results with BERT in GLUE datasets, while being 7.5x smaller and 9.4x faster on inference. TinyBERT is also significantly better than state-of-the-art baselines, even with only about 28% parameters and 31% inference time of baselines.
The latest work on language representations carefully integrates contextualized features into language model training, which enables a series of success especially in various machine reading comprehension and natural language inference tasks. However, the existing language representation models including ELMo, GPT and BERT only exploit plain context-sensitive features such as character or word embeddings. They rarely consider incorporating structured semantic information which can provide rich semantics for language representation. To promote natural language understanding, we propose to incorporate explicit contextual semantics from pre-trained semantic role labeling, and introduce an improved language representation model, Semantics-aware BERT (SemBERT), which is capable of explicitly absorbing contextual semantics over a BERT backbone. SemBERT keeps the convenient usability of its BERT precursor in a light fine-tuning way without substantial task-specific modifications. Compared with BERT, semantics-aware BERT is as simple in concept but more powerful. It obtains new state-of-the-art or substantially improves results on ten reading comprehension and language inference tasks.
Learning general representations of text is a fundamental problem for many natural language understanding (NLU) tasks. Previously, researchers have proposed to use language model pre-training and multi-task learning to learn robust representations. However, these methods can achieve sub-optimal performance in low-resource scenarios. Inspired by the recent success of optimization-based meta-learning algorithms, in this paper, we explore the model-agnostic meta-learning algorithm (MAML) and its variants for low-resource NLU tasks. We validate our methods on the GLUE benchmark and show that our proposed models can outperform several strong baselines. We further empirically demonstrate that the learned representations can be adapted to new tasks efficiently and effectively.
Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) represents the latest incarnation of pretrained language models which have recently advanced a wide range of natural language processing tasks. In this paper, we showcase how BERT can be usefully applied in text summarization and propose a general framework for both extractive and abstractive models. We introduce a novel document-level encoder based on BERT which is able to express the semantics of a document and obtain representations for its sentences. Our extractive model is built on top of this encoder by stacking several inter-sentence Transformer layers. For abstractive summarization, we propose a new fine-tuning schedule which adopts different optimizers for the encoder and the decoder as a means of alleviating the mismatch between the two (the former is pretrained while the latter is not). We also demonstrate that a two-staged fine-tuning approach can further boost the quality of the generated summaries. Experiments on three datasets show that our model achieves state-of-the-art results across the board in both extractive and abstractive settings. Our code is available at https://github.com/nlpyang/PreSumm
It can be challenging to train multi-task neural networks that outperform or even match their single-task counterparts. To help address this, we propose using knowledge distillation where single-task models teach a multi-task model. We enhance this training with teacher annealing, a novel method that gradually transitions the model from distillation to supervised learning, helping the multi-task model surpass its single-task teachers. We evaluate our approach by multi-task fine-tuning BERT on the GLUE benchmark. Our method consistently improves over standard single-task and multi-task training.
We introduce a new language representation model called BERT, which stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. Unlike recent language representation models, BERT is designed to pre-train deep bidirectional representations from unlabeled text by jointly conditioning on both left and right context in all layers. As a result, the pre-trained BERT model can be fine-tuned with just one additional output layer to create state-of-the-art models for a wide range of tasks, such as question answering and language inference, without substantial task-specific architecture modifications. BERT is conceptually simple and empirically powerful. It obtains new state-of-the-art results on eleven natural language processing tasks, including pushing the GLUE score to 80.5% (7.7% point absolute improvement), MultiNLI accuracy to 86.7% (4.6% absolute improvement), SQuAD v1.1 question answering Test F1 to 93.2 (1.5 point absolute improvement) and SQuAD v2.0 Test F1 to 83.1 (5.1 point absolute improvement).
Pre-trained language model representations have been successful in a wide range of language understanding tasks. In this paper, we examine different strategies to integrate pre-trained representations into sequence to sequence models and apply it to neural machine translation and abstractive summarization. We find that pre-trained representations are most effective when added to the encoder network which slows inference by only 14%. Our experiments in machine translation show gains of up to 5.3 BLEU in a simulated resource-poor setup. While returns diminish with more labeled data, we still observe improvements when millions of sentence-pairs are available. Finally, on abstractive summarization we achieve a new state of the art on the full text version of CNN/DailyMail.
We present a new approach for pretraining a bi-directional transformer model that provides significant performance gains across a variety of language understanding problems. Our model solves a cloze-style word reconstruction task, where each word is ablated and must be predicted given the rest of the text. Experiments demonstrate large performance gains on GLUE and new state of the art results on NER as well as constituency parsing benchmarks, consistent with the concurrently introduced BERT model. We also present a detailed analysis of a number of factors that contribute to effective pretraining, including data domain and size, model capacity, and variations on the cloze objective.
Recently advancements in sequence-to-sequence neural network architectures have led to an improved natural language understanding. When building a neural network-based Natural Language Understanding component, one main challenge is to collect enough training data. The generation of a synthetic dataset is an inexpensive and quick way to collect data. Since this data often has less variety than real natural language, neural networks often have problems to generalize to unseen utterances during testing. In this work, we address this challenge by using multi-task learning. We train out-of-domain real data alongside in-domain synthetic data to improve natural language understanding. We evaluate this approach in the domain of airline travel information with two synthetic datasets. As out-of-domain real data, we test two datasets based on the subtitles of movies and series. By using an attention-based encoder-decoder model, we were able to improve the F1-score over strong baselines from 80.76 % to 84.98 % in the smaller synthetic dataset.
Text Classification is an important and classical problem in natural language processing. There have been a number of studies that applied convolutional neural networks (convolution on regular grid, e.g., sequence) to classification. However, only a limited number of studies have explored the more flexible graph convolutional neural networks (e.g., convolution on non-grid, e.g., arbitrary graph) for the task. In this work, we propose to use graph convolutional networks for text classification. We build a single text graph for a corpus based on word co-occurrence and document word relations, then learn a Text Graph Convolutional Network (Text GCN) for the corpus. Our Text GCN is initialized with one-hot representation for word and document, it then jointly learns the embeddings for both words and documents, as supervised by the known class labels for documents. Our experimental results on multiple benchmark datasets demonstrate that a vanilla Text GCN without any external word embeddings or knowledge outperforms state-of-the-art methods for text classification. On the other hand, Text GCN also learns predictive word and document embeddings. In addition, experimental results show that the improvement of Text GCN over state-of-the-art comparison methods become more prominent as we lower the percentage of training data, suggesting the robustness of Text GCN to less training data in text classification.