Transformer-based pre-trained language models have significantly improved the performance of various natural language processing (NLP) tasks in the recent years. While effective and prevalent, these models are usually prohibitively large for resource-limited deployment scenarios. A thread of research has thus been working on applying network pruning techniques under the pretrain-then-finetune paradigm widely adopted in NLP. However, the existing pruning results on benchmark transformers, such as BERT, are not as remarkable as the pruning results in the literature of convolutional neural networks (CNNs). In particular, common wisdom in pruning CNN states that sparse pruning technique compresses a model more than that obtained by reducing number of channels and layers, while existing works on sparse pruning of BERT yields inferior results than its small-dense counterparts such as TinyBERT. In this work, we aim to fill this gap by studying how knowledge are transferred and lost during the pre-train, fine-tune, and pruning process, and proposing a knowledge-aware sparse pruning process that achieves significantly superior results than existing literature. We show for the first time that sparse pruning compresses a BERT model significantly more than reducing its number of channels and layers. Experiments on multiple data sets of GLUE benchmark show that our method outperforms the leading competitors with a 20-times weight/FLOPs compression and neglectable loss in prediction accuracy.
While the celebrated Word2Vec technique yields semantically rich representations for individual words, there has been relatively less success in extending to generate unsupervised sentences or documents embeddings. Recent work has demonstrated that a distance measure between documents called Word Mover’s Distance (WMD) that aligns semantically similar words, yields unprecedented KNN classification accuracy. However, WMD is expensive to compute, and it is hard to extend its use beyond a KNN classifier. In this paper, we propose the Word Mover’s Embedding (WME), a novel approach to building an unsupervised document (sentence) embedding from pre-trained word embeddings. In our experiments on 9 benchmark text classification datasets and 22 textual similarity tasks, the proposed technique consistently matches or outperforms state-of-the-art techniques, with significantly higher accuracy on problems of short length.