Andrea Santilli


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Accelerating Transformer Inference for Translation via Parallel Decoding
Andrea Santilli | Silvio Severino | Emilian Postolache | Valentino Maiorca | Michele Mancusi | Riccardo Marin | Emanuele Rodola
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Autoregressive decoding limits the efficiency of transformers for Machine Translation (MT). The community proposed specific network architectures and learning-based methods to solve this issue, which are expensive and require changes to the MT model, trading inference speed at the cost of the translation quality. In this paper, we propose to address the problem from the point of view of decoding algorithms, as a less explored but rather compelling direction. We propose to reframe the standard greedy autoregressive decoding of MT with a parallel formulation leveraging Jacobi and Gauss-Seidel fixed-point iteration methods for fast inference. This formulation allows to speed up existing models without training or modifications while retaining translation quality. We present three parallel decoding algorithms and test them on different languages and models showing how the parallelization introduces a speedup up to 38% w.r.t. the standard autoregressive decoding and nearly 2x when scaling the method on parallel resources. Finally, we introduce a decoding dependency graph visualizer (DDGviz) that let us see how the model has learned the conditional dependence between tokens and inspect the decoding procedure.


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PromptSource: An Integrated Development Environment and Repository for Natural Language Prompts
Stephen Bach | Victor Sanh | Zheng Xin Yong | Albert Webson | Colin Raffel | Nihal V. Nayak | Abheesht Sharma | Taewoon Kim | M Saiful Bari | Thibault Fevry | Zaid Alyafeai | Manan Dey | Andrea Santilli | Zhiqing Sun | Srulik Ben-david | Canwen Xu | Gunjan Chhablani | Han Wang | Jason Fries | Maged Al-shaibani | Shanya Sharma | Urmish Thakker | Khalid Almubarak | Xiangru Tang | Dragomir Radev | Mike Tian-jian Jiang | Alexander Rush
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations

PromptSource is a system for creating, sharing, and using natural language prompts. Prompts are functions that map an example from a dataset to a natural language input and target output. Using prompts to train and query language models is an emerging area in NLP that requires new tools that let users develop and refine these prompts collaboratively. PromptSource addresses the emergent challenges in this new setting with (1) a templating language for defining data-linked prompts, (2) an interface that lets users quickly iterate on prompt development by observing outputs of their prompts on many examples, and (3) a community-driven set of guidelines for contributing new prompts to a common pool. Over 2,000 prompts for roughly 170 datasets are already available in PromptSource. PromptSource is available at


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KERMIT: Complementing Transformer Architectures with Encoders of Explicit Syntactic Interpretations
Fabio Massimo Zanzotto | Andrea Santilli | Leonardo Ranaldi | Dario Onorati | Pierfrancesco Tommasino | Francesca Fallucchi
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Syntactic parsers have dominated natural language understanding for decades. Yet, their syntactic interpretations are losing centrality in downstream tasks due to the success of large-scale textual representation learners. In this paper, we propose KERMIT (Kernel-inspired Encoder with Recursive Mechanism for Interpretable Trees) to embed symbolic syntactic parse trees into artificial neural networks and to visualize how syntax is used in inference. We experimented with KERMIT paired with two state-of-the-art transformer-based universal sentence encoders (BERT and XLNet) and we showed that KERMIT can indeed boost their performance by effectively embedding human-coded universal syntactic representations in neural networks


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SyntNN at SemEval-2018 Task 2: is Syntax Useful for Emoji Prediction? Embedding Syntactic Trees in Multi Layer Perceptrons
Fabio Massimo Zanzotto | Andrea Santilli
Proceedings of the 12th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation

In this paper, we present SyntNN as a way to include traditional syntactic models in multilayer neural networks used in the task of Semeval Task 2 of emoji prediction. The model builds on the distributed tree embedder also known as distributed tree kernel. Initial results are extremely encouraging but additional analysis is needed to overcome the problem of overfitting.