We present a comprehensive study of sparse attention patterns in Transformer models. We first question the need for pre-training with sparse attention and present experiments showing that an efficient fine-tuning only approach yields a slightly worse but still competitive model. Then we compare the widely used local attention pattern and the less-well-studied global attention pattern, demonstrating that global patterns have several unique advantages. We also demonstrate that a flexible approach to attention, with different patterns across different layers of the model, is beneficial for some tasks. Drawing on this insight, we propose a novel Adaptive Axis Attention method, which learns—during fine-tuning—different attention patterns for each Transformer layer depending on the downstream task. Rather than choosing a fixed attention pattern, the adaptive axis attention method identifies important tokens—for each task and model layer—and focuses attention on those. It does not require pre-training to accommodate the sparse patterns and demonstrates competitive and sometimes better performance against fixed sparse attention patterns that require resource-intensive pre-training.
Previous work of class-incremental learning for Named Entity Recognition (NER) relies on the assumption that there exists abundance of labeled data for the training of new classes. In this work, we study a more challenging but practical problem, i.e., few-shot class-incremental learning for NER, where an NER model is trained with only few labeled samples of the new classes, without forgetting knowledge of the old ones. To alleviate the problem of catastrophic forgetting in few-shot class-incremental learning, we reconstruct synthetic training data of the old classes using the trained NER model, augmenting the training of new classes. We further develop a framework that distills from the existing model with both synthetic data, and real data from the current training set. Experimental results show that our approach achieves significant improvements over existing baselines.
Knowledge graphs suffer from sparsity which degrades the quality of representations generated by various methods. While there is an abundance of textual information throughout the web and many existing knowledge bases, aligning information across these diverse data sources remains a challenge in the literature. Previous work has partially addressed this issue by enriching knowledge graph entities based on “hard” co-occurrence of words present in the entities of the knowledge graphs and external text, while we achieve “soft” augmentation by proposing a knowledge graph enrichment and embedding framework named Edge. Given an original knowledge graph, we first generate a rich but noisy augmented graph using external texts in semantic and structural level. To distill the relevant knowledge and suppress the introduced noise, we design a graph alignment term in a shared embedding space between the original graph and augmented graph. To enhance the embedding learning on the augmented graph, we further regularize the locality relationship of target entity based on negative sampling. Experimental results on four benchmark datasets demonstrate the robustness and effectiveness of Edge in link prediction and node classification.