The notion of "in-domain data" in NLP is often over-simplistic and vague, as textual data varies in many nuanced linguistic aspects such as topic, style or level of formality. In addition, domain labels are many times unavailable, making it challenging to build domain-specific systems. We show that massive pre-trained language models implicitly learn sentence representations that cluster by domains without supervision -- suggesting a simple data-driven definition of domains in textual data. We harness this property and propose domain data selection methods based on such models, which require only a small set of in-domain monolingual data. We evaluate our data selection methods for neural machine translation across five diverse domains, where they outperform an established approach as measured by both BLEU and by precision and recall of sentence selection with respect to an oracle.
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.
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
With the capability of modeling bidirectional contexts, denoising autoencoding based pretraining like BERT achieves better performance than pretraining approaches based on autoregressive language modeling. However, relying on corrupting the input with masks, BERT neglects dependency between the masked positions and suffers from a pretrain-finetune discrepancy. In light of these pros and cons, we propose XLNet, a generalized autoregressive pretraining method that (1) enables learning bidirectional contexts by maximizing the expected likelihood over all permutations of the factorization order and (2) overcomes the limitations of BERT thanks to its autoregressive formulation. Furthermore, XLNet integrates ideas from Transformer-XL, the state-of-the-art autoregressive model, into pretraining. Empirically, XLNet outperforms BERT on 20 tasks, often by a large margin, and achieves state-of-the-art results on 18 tasks including question answering, natural language inference, sentiment analysis, and document ranking.
Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) has shown marvelous improvements across various NLP tasks. Recently, an upgraded version of BERT has been released with Whole Word Masking (WWM), which mitigate the drawbacks of masking partial WordPiece tokens in pre-training BERT. In this technical report, we adapt whole word masking in Chinese text, that masking the whole word instead of masking Chinese characters, which could bring another challenge in Masked Language Model (MLM) pre-training task. The model was trained on the latest Chinese Wikipedia dump. We aim to provide easy extensibility and better performance for Chinese BERT without changing any neural architecture or even hyper-parameters. The model is verified on various NLP tasks, across sentence-level to document-level, including sentiment classification (ChnSentiCorp, Sina Weibo), named entity recognition (People Daily, MSRA-NER), natural language inference (XNLI), sentence pair matching (LCQMC, BQ Corpus), and machine reading comprehension (CMRC 2018, DRCD, CAIL RC). Experimental results on these datasets show that the whole word masking could bring another significant gain. Moreover, we also examine the effectiveness of Chinese pre-trained models: BERT, ERNIE, BERT-wwm. We release the pre-trained model (both TensorFlow and PyTorch) on GitHub: https://github.com/ymcui/Chinese-BERT-wwm
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).
Intent classification and slot filling are two essential tasks for natural language understanding. They often suffer from small-scale human-labeled training data, resulting in poor generalization capability, especially for rare words. Recently a new language representation model, BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers), facilitates pre-training deep bidirectional representations on large-scale unlabeled corpora, and has created state-of-the-art models for a wide variety of natural language processing tasks after simple fine-tuning. However, there has not been much effort on exploring BERT for natural language understanding. In this work, we propose a joint intent classification and slot filling model based on BERT. Experimental results demonstrate that our proposed model achieves significant improvement on intent classification accuracy, slot filling F1, and sentence-level semantic frame accuracy on several public benchmark datasets, compared to the attention-based recurrent neural network models and slot-gated models.
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.
Multilingual models for Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) are attractive as they have been shown to benefit from more training data, and better lend themselves to adaptation to under-resourced languages. However, initialisation from monolingual context-dependent models leads to an explosion of context-dependent states. Connectionist Temporal Classification (CTC) is a potential solution to this as it performs well with monophone labels. We investigate multilingual CTC in the context of adaptation and regularisation techniques that have been shown to be beneficial in more conventional contexts. The multilingual model is trained to model a universal International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)-based phone set using the CTC loss function. Learning Hidden Unit Contribution (LHUC) is investigated to perform language adaptive training. In addition, dropout during cross-lingual adaptation is also studied and tested in order to mitigate the overfitting problem. Experiments show that the performance of the universal phoneme-based CTC system can be improved by applying LHUC and it is extensible to new phonemes during cross-lingual adaptation. Updating all the parameters shows consistent improvement on limited data. Applying dropout during adaptation can further improve the system and achieve competitive performance with Deep Neural Network / Hidden Markov Model (DNN/HMM) systems on limited data.