A Balanced Data Approach for Evaluating Cross-Lingual Transfer: Mapping the Linguistic Blood Bank

Dan Malkin, Tomasz Limisiewicz, Gabriel Stanovsky


Abstract
We show that the choice of pretraining languages affects downstream cross-lingual transfer for BERT-based models. We inspect zero-shot performance in balanced data conditions to mitigate data size confounds, classifying pretraining languages that improve downstream performance as donors, and languages that are improved in zero-shot performance as recipients. We develop a method of quadratic time complexity in the number of languages to estimate these relations, instead of an exponential exhaustive computation of all possible combinations. We find that our method is effective on a diverse set of languages spanning different linguistic features and two downstream tasks.Our findings can inform developers of large-scale multilingual language models in choosing better pretraining configurations.
Anthology ID:
2022.naacl-main.361
Volume:
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies
Month:
July
Year:
2022
Address:
Seattle, United States
Venue:
NAACL
SIG:
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
4903–4915
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/2022.naacl-main.361
DOI:
10.18653/v1/2022.naacl-main.361
Award:
 Honorable mention for contribution to methods
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Dan Malkin, Tomasz Limisiewicz, and Gabriel Stanovsky. 2022. A Balanced Data Approach for Evaluating Cross-Lingual Transfer: Mapping the Linguistic Blood Bank. In Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, pages 4903–4915, Seattle, United States. Association for Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
A Balanced Data Approach for Evaluating Cross-Lingual Transfer: Mapping the Linguistic Blood Bank (Malkin et al., NAACL 2022)
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/2022.naacl-main.361.pdf
Video:
 https://aclanthology.org/2022.naacl-main.361.mp4
Code
 slab-nlp/linguistic-blood-bank