Aleksander Smywiński-Pohl


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LiBERTa: Advancing Ukrainian Language Modeling through Pre-training from Scratch
Mykola Haltiuk | Aleksander Smywiński-Pohl
Proceedings of the Third Ukrainian Natural Language Processing Workshop (UNLP) @ LREC-COLING 2024

Recent advancements in Natural Language Processing (NLP) have spurred remarkable progress in language modeling, predominantly benefiting English. While Ukrainian NLP has long grappled with significant challenges due to limited data and computational resources, recent years have seen a shift with the emergence of new corpora, marking a pivotal moment in addressing these obstacles. This paper introduces LiBERTa Large, the inaugural BERT Large model pre-trained entirely from scratch only on Ukrainian texts. Leveraging extensive multilingual text corpora, including a substantial Ukrainian subset, LiBERTa Large establishes a foundational resource for Ukrainian NLU tasks. Our model outperforms existing multilingual and monolingual models pre-trained from scratch for Ukrainian, demonstrating competitive performance against those relying on cross-lingual transfer from English. This achievement underscores our ability to achieve superior performance through pre-training from scratch with additional enhancements, obviating the need to rely on decisions made for English models to efficiently transfer weights. We establish LiBERTa Large as a robust baseline, paving the way for future advancements in Ukrainian language modeling.