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Proceedings ArticleDOI

How Good is Your Tokenizer? On the Monolingual Performance of Multilingual Language Models

01 Aug 2021-pp 3118-3135

AbstractIn this work, we provide a systematic and comprehensive empirical comparison of pretrained multilingual language models versus their monolingual counterparts with regard to their monolingual task performance. We study a set of nine typologically diverse languages with readily available pretrained monolingual models on a set of five diverse monolingual downstream tasks. We first aim to establish, via fair and controlled comparisons, if a gap between the multilingual and the corresponding monolingual representation of that language exists, and subsequently investigate the reason for any performance difference. To disentangle conflating factors, we train new monolingual models on the same data, with monolingually and multilingually trained tokenizers. We find that while the pretraining data size is an important factor, a designated monolingual tokenizer plays an equally important role in the downstream performance. Our results show that languages that are adequately represented in the multilingual model’s vocabulary exhibit negligible performance decreases over their monolingual counterparts. We further find that replacing the original multilingual tokenizer with the specialized monolingual tokenizer improves the downstream performance of the multilingual model for almost every task and language.

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Citations
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Proceedings Article
26 Aug 2021
Abstract: Massively multilingual language models such as multilingual BERT offer state-of-the-art cross-lingual transfer performance on a range of NLP tasks. However, due to limited capacity and large differences in pretraining data sizes, there is a profound performance gap between resource-rich and resource-poor target languages. The ultimate challenge is dealing with under-resourced languages not covered at all by the models and written in scripts unseen during pretraining. In this work, we propose a series of novel data-efficient methods that enable quick and effective adaptation of pretrained multilingual models to such low-resource languages and unseen scripts. Relying on matrix factorization, our methods capitalize on the existing latent knowledge about multiple languages already available in the pretrained model’s embedding matrix. Furthermore, we show that learning of the new dedicated embedding matrix in the target language can be improved by leveraging a small number of vocabulary items (i.e., the so-called lexically overlapping tokens) shared between mBERT’s and target language vocabulary. Our adaptation techniques offer substantial performance gains for languages with unseen scripts. We also demonstrate that they can yield improvements for low-resource languages written in scripts covered by the pretrained model.

22 citations


Posted Content
Abstract: We introduce Korean Language Understanding Evaluation (KLUE) benchmark. KLUE is a collection of 8 Korean natural language understanding (NLU) tasks, including Topic Classification, SemanticTextual Similarity, Natural Language Inference, Named Entity Recognition, Relation Extraction, Dependency Parsing, Machine Reading Comprehension, and Dialogue State Tracking. We build all of the tasks from scratch from diverse source corpora while respecting copyrights, to ensure accessibility for anyone without any restrictions. With ethical considerations in mind, we carefully design annotation protocols. Along with the benchmark tasks and data, we provide suitable evaluation metrics and fine-tuning recipes for pretrained language models for each task. We furthermore release the pretrained language models (PLM), KLUE-BERT and KLUE-RoBERTa, to help reproducing baseline models on KLUE and thereby facilitate future research. We make a few interesting observations from the preliminary experiments using the proposed KLUE benchmark suite, already demonstrating the usefulness of this new benchmark suite. First, we find KLUE-RoBERTa-large outperforms other baselines, including multilingual PLMs and existing open-source Korean PLMs. Second, we see minimal degradation in performance even when we replace personally identifiable information from the pretraining corpus, suggesting that privacy and NLU capability are not at odds with each other. Lastly, we find that using BPE tokenization in combination with morpheme-level pre-tokenization is effective in tasks involving morpheme-level tagging, detection and generation. In addition to accelerating Korean NLP research, our comprehensive documentation on creating KLUE will facilitate creating similar resources for other languages in the future. KLUE is available at this https URL.

7 citations


Proceedings Article
01 Nov 2021
Abstract: Adapter modules have emerged as a general parameter-efficient means to specialize a pretrained encoder to new domains. Massively multilingual transformers (MMTs) have particularly benefited from additional training of language-specific adapters. However, this approach is not viable for the vast majority of languages, due to limitations in their corpus size or compute budgets. In this work, we propose MAD-G (Multilingual ADapter Generation), which contextually generates language adapters from language representations based on typological features. In contrast to prior work, our time- and space-efficient MAD-G approach enables (1) sharing of linguistic knowledge across languages and (2) zero-shot inference by generating language adapters for unseen languages. We thoroughly evaluate MAD-G in zero-shot cross-lingual transfer on part-of-speech tagging, dependency parsing, and named entity recognition. While offering (1) improved fine-tuning efficiency (by a factor of around 50 in our experiments), (2) a smaller parameter budget, and (3) increased language coverage, MAD-G remains competitive with more expensive methods for language-specific adapter training across the board. Moreover, it offers substantial benefits for low-resource languages, particularly on the NER task in low-resource African languages. Finally, we demonstrate that MAD-G’s transfer performance can be further improved via: (i) multi-source training, i.e., by generating and combining adapters of multiple languages with available task-specific training data; and (ii) by further fine-tuning generated MAD-G adapters for languages with monolingual data.

7 citations


Posted Content
Abstract: Intermediate task fine-tuning has been shown to culminate in large transfer gains across many NLP tasks. With an abundance of candidate datasets as well as pre-trained language models, it has become infeasible to run the cross-product of all combinations to find the best transfer setting. In this work we first establish that similar sequential fine-tuning gains can be achieved in adapter settings, and subsequently consolidate previously proposed methods that efficiently identify beneficial tasks for intermediate transfer learning. We experiment with a diverse set of 42 intermediate and 11 target English classification, multiple choice, question answering, and sequence tagging tasks. Our results show that efficient embedding based methods that rely solely on the respective datasets outperform computational expensive few-shot fine-tuning approaches. Our best methods achieve an average Regret@3 of less than 1% across all target tasks, demonstrating that we are able to efficiently identify the best datasets for intermediate training.

6 citations


Proceedings ArticleDOI
21 Jun 2021
Abstract: While self-supervised learning has made rapid advances in natural language processing, it remains unclear when researchers should engage in resource-intensive domain-specific pretraining (domain pretraining). The law, puzzlingly, has yielded few documented instances of substantial gains to domain pretraining in spite of the fact that legal language is widely seen to be unique. We hypothesize that these existing results stem from the fact that existing legal NLP tasks are too easy and fail to meet conditions for when domain pretraining can help. To address this, we first present CaseHOLD (Case Holdings On Legal Decisions), a new dataset comprised of over 53,000+ multiple choice questions to identify the relevant holding of a cited case. This dataset presents a fundamental task to lawyers and is both legally meaningful and difficult from an NLP perspective (F1 of 0.4 with a BiLSTM baseline). Second, we assess performance gains on CaseHOLD and existing legal NLP datasets. While a Transformer architecture (BERT) pretrained on a general corpus (Google Books and Wikipedia) improves performance, domain pretraining (on a corpus of ≈3.5M decisions across all courts in the U.S. that is larger than BERT's) with a custom legal vocabulary exhibits the most substantial performance gains with CaseHOLD (gain of 7.2% on F1, representing a 12% improvement on BERT) and consistent performance gains across two other legal tasks. Third, we show that domain pretraining may be warranted when the task exhibits sufficient similarity to the pretraining corpus: the level of performance increase in three legal tasks was directly tied to the domain specificity of the task. Our findings inform when researchers should engage in resource-intensive pretraining and show that Transformer-based architectures, too, learn embeddings suggestive of distinct legal language.

2 citations


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Posted Content
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6,623 citations


Proceedings ArticleDOI
15 Feb 2018
Abstract: We introduce a new type of deep contextualized word representation that models both (1) complex characteristics of word use (e.g., syntax and semantics), and (2) how these uses vary across linguistic contexts (i.e., to model polysemy). Our word vectors are learned functions of the internal states of a deep bidirectional language model (biLM), which is pre-trained on a large text corpus. We show that these representations can be easily added to existing models and significantly improve the state of the art across six challenging NLP problems, including question answering, textual entailment and sentiment analysis. We also present an analysis showing that exposing the deep internals of the pre-trained network is crucial, allowing downstream models to mix different types of semi-supervision signals.

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