DeeBERT: Dynamic Early Exiting for Accelerating BERT Inference

Ji Xin, Raphael Tang, Jaejun Lee, Yaoliang Yu, Jimmy Lin


Abstract
Large-scale pre-trained language models such as BERT have brought significant improvements to NLP applications. However, they are also notorious for being slow in inference, which makes them difficult to deploy in real-time applications. We propose a simple but effective method, DeeBERT, to accelerate BERT inference. Our approach allows samples to exit earlier without passing through the entire model. Experiments show that DeeBERT is able to save up to ~40% inference time with minimal degradation in model quality. Further analyses show different behaviors in the BERT transformer layers and also reveal their redundancy. Our work provides new ideas to efficiently apply deep transformer-based models to downstream tasks. Code is available at https://github.com/castorini/DeeBERT.
Anthology ID:
2020.acl-main.204
Volume:
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics
Month:
July
Year:
2020
Address:
Online
Venue:
ACL
SIG:
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
2246–2251
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/2020.acl-main.204
DOI:
10.18653/v1/2020.acl-main.204
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Ji Xin, Raphael Tang, Jaejun Lee, Yaoliang Yu, and Jimmy Lin. 2020. DeeBERT: Dynamic Early Exiting for Accelerating BERT Inference. In Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, pages 2246–2251, Online. Association for Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
DeeBERT: Dynamic Early Exiting for Accelerating BERT Inference (Xin et al., ACL 2020)
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/2020.acl-main.204.pdf
Video:
 http://slideslive.com/38928742
Code
 castorini/deebert +  additional community code
Data
GLUEQNLI