Andrew Arnold


2022

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Lifelong Pretraining: Continually Adapting Language Models to Emerging Corpora
Xisen Jin | Dejiao Zhang | Henghui Zhu | Wei Xiao | Shang-Wen Li | Xiaokai Wei | Andrew Arnold | Xiang Ren
Proceedings of BigScience Episode #5 -- Workshop on Challenges & Perspectives in Creating Large Language Models

Pretrained language models (PTLMs) are typically learned over a large, static corpus and further fine-tuned for various downstream tasks. However, when deployed in the real world, a PTLM-based model must deal with data distributions that deviates from what the PTLM was initially trained on. In this paper, we study a lifelong language model pretraining challenge where a PTLM is continually updated so as to adapt to emerging data. Over a domain-incremental research paper stream and a chronologically-ordered tweet stream, we incrementally pretrain a PTLM with different continual learning algorithms, and keep track of the downstream task performance (after fine-tuning). We evaluate PTLM’s ability to adapt to new corpora while retaining learned knowledge in earlier corpora. Our experiments show distillation-based approaches to be most effective in retaining downstream performance in earlier domains. The algorithms also improve knowledge transfer, allowing models to achieve better downstream performance over latest data, and improve temporal generalization when distribution gaps exist between training and evaluation because of time. We believe our problem formulation, methods, and analysis will inspire future studies towards continual pretraining of language models.

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Learning Dialogue Representations from Consecutive Utterances
Zhihan Zhou | Dejiao Zhang | Wei Xiao | Nicholas Dingwall | Xiaofei Ma | Andrew Arnold | Bing Xiang
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Learning high-quality dialogue representations is essential for solving a variety of dialogue-oriented tasks, especially considering that dialogue systems often suffer from data scarcity. In this paper, we introduce Dialogue Sentence Embedding (DSE), a self-supervised contrastive learning method that learns effective dialogue representations suitable for a wide range of dialogue tasks. DSE learns from dialogues by taking consecutive utterances of the same dialogue as positive pairs for contrastive learning. Despite its simplicity, DSE achieves significantly better representation capability than other dialogue representation and universal sentence representation models. We evaluate DSE on five downstream dialogue tasks that examine dialogue representation at different semantic granularities. Experiments in few-shot and zero-shot settings show that DSE outperforms baselines by a large margin, for example, it achieves 13% average performance improvement over the strongest unsupervised baseline in 1-shot intent classification on 6 datasets. We also provide analyses on the benefits and limitations of our model.

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Lifelong Pretraining: Continually Adapting Language Models to Emerging Corpora
Xisen Jin | Dejiao Zhang | Henghui Zhu | Wei Xiao | Shang-Wen Li | Xiaokai Wei | Andrew Arnold | Xiang Ren
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Pretrained language models (PTLMs) are typically learned over a large, static corpus and further fine-tuned for various downstream tasks. However, when deployed in the real world, a PTLM-based model must deal with data distributions that deviates from what the PTLM was initially trained on. In this paper, we study a lifelong language model pretraining challenge where a PTLM is continually updated so as to adapt to emerging data. Over a domain-incremental research paper stream and a chronologically-ordered tweet stream, we incrementally pretrain a PTLM with different continual learning algorithms, and keep track of the downstream task performance (after fine-tuning). We evaluate PTLM’s ability to adapt to new corpora while retaining learned knowledge in earlier corpora. Our experiments show distillation-based approaches to be most effective in retaining downstream performance in earlier domains. The algorithms also improve knowledge transfer, allowing models to achieve better downstream performance over latest data, and improve temporal generalization when distribution gaps exist between training and evaluation because of time. We believe our problem formulation, methods, and analysis will inspire future studies towards continual pretraining of language models.

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Virtual Augmentation Supported Contrastive Learning of Sentence Representations
Dejiao Zhang | Wei Xiao | Henghui Zhu | Xiaofei Ma | Andrew Arnold
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Despite profound successes, contrastive representation learning relies on carefully designed data augmentations using domain-specific knowledge. This challenge is magnified in natural language processing, where no general rules exist for data augmentation due to the discrete nature of natural language. We tackle this challenge by presenting a Virtual augmentation Supported Contrastive Learning of sentence representations (VaSCL). Originating from the interpretation that data augmentation essentially constructs the neighborhoods of each training instance, we, in turn, utilize the neighborhood to generate effective data augmentations. Leveraging the large training batch size of contrastive learning, we approximate the neighborhood of an instance via its K-nearest in-batch neighbors in the representation space. We then define an instance discrimination task regarding the neighborhood and generate the virtual augmentation in an adversarial training manner. We access the performance of VaSCL on a wide range of downstream tasks and set a new state-of-the-art for unsupervised sentence representation learning.

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Entailment Tree Explanations via Iterative Retrieval-Generation Reasoner
Danilo Neves Ribeiro | Shen Wang | Xiaofei Ma | Rui Dong | Xiaokai Wei | Henghui Zhu | Xinchi Chen | Peng Xu | Zhiheng Huang | Andrew Arnold | Dan Roth
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2022

Large language models have achieved high performance on various question answering (QA) benchmarks, but the explainability of their output remains elusive. Structured explanations, called entailment trees, were recently suggested as a way to explain the reasoning behind a QA system’s answer. In order to better generate such entailment trees, we propose an architecture called Iterative Retrieval-Generation Reasoner (IRGR). Our model is able to explain a given hypothesis by systematically generating a step-by-step explanation from textual premises. The IRGR model iteratively searches for suitable premises, constructing a single entailment step at a time. Contrary to previous approaches, our method combines generation steps and retrieval of premises, allowing the model to leverage intermediate conclusions, and mitigating the input size limit of baseline encoder-decoder models. We conduct experiments using the EntailmentBank dataset, where we outperform existing benchmarks on premise retrieval and entailment tree generation, with around 300% gain in overall correctness.

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Debiasing Neural Retrieval via In-batch Balancing Regularization
Yuantong Li | Xiaokai Wei | Zijian Wang | Shen Wang | Parminder Bhatia | Xiaofei Ma | Andrew Arnold
Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on Gender Bias in Natural Language Processing (GeBNLP)

People frequently interact with information retrieval (IR) systems, however, IR models exhibit biases and discrimination towards various demographics. The in-processing fair ranking methods provides a trade-offs between accuracy and fairness through adding a fairness-related regularization term in the loss function. However, there haven’t been intuitive objective functions that depend on the click probability and user engagement to directly optimize towards this.In this work, we propose the {textbf{I}n-{textbf{B}atch {textbf{B}alancing {textbf{R}egularization (IBBR) to mitigate the ranking disparity among subgroups. In particular, we develop a differentiable {textbf{normed Pairwise Ranking Fairness} (nPRF) and leverage the T-statistics on top of nPRF over subgroups as a regularization to improve fairness. Empirical results with the BERT-based neural rankers on the MS MARCO Passage Retrieval dataset with the human-annotated non-gendered queries benchmark {cite{rekabsaz2020neural} show that our {ibbr{} method with nPRF achieves significantly less bias with minimal degradation in ranking performance compared with the baseline.

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DQ-BART: Efficient Sequence-to-Sequence Model via Joint Distillation and Quantization
Zheng Li | Zijian Wang | Ming Tan | Ramesh Nallapati | Parminder Bhatia | Andrew Arnold | Bing Xiang | Dan Roth
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Large-scale pre-trained sequence-to-sequence models like BART and T5 achieve state-of-the-art performance on many generative NLP tasks. However, such models pose a great challenge in resource-constrained scenarios owing to their large memory requirements and high latency. To alleviate this issue, we propose to jointly distill and quantize the model, where knowledge is transferred from the full-precision teacher model to the quantized and distilled low-precision student model. Empirical analyses show that, despite the challenging nature of generative tasks, we were able to achieve a 16.5x model footprint compression ratio with little performance drop relative to the full-precision counterparts on multiple summarization and QA datasets. We further pushed the limit of compression ratio to 27.7x and presented the performance-efficiency trade-off for generative tasks using pre-trained models. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work aiming to effectively distill and quantize sequence-to-sequence pre-trained models for language generation tasks.

2008

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Exploiting Feature Hierarchy for Transfer Learning in Named Entity Recognition
Andrew Arnold | Ramesh Nallapati | William W. Cohen
Proceedings of ACL-08: HLT