Jingfei Du


2021

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Larger-Scale Transformers for Multilingual Masked Language Modeling
Naman Goyal | Jingfei Du | Myle Ott | Giri Anantharaman | Alexis Conneau
Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Representation Learning for NLP (RepL4NLP-2021)

Recent work has demonstrated the effectiveness of cross-lingual language model pretraining for cross-lingual understanding. In this study, we present the results of two larger multilingual masked language models, with 3.5B and 10.7B parameters. Our two new models dubbed and outperform XLM-R by 1.8% and 2.4% average accuracy on XNLI. Our model also outperforms the RoBERTa-Large model on several English tasks of the GLUE benchmark by 0.3% on average while handling 99 more languages. This suggests larger capacity models for language understanding may obtain strong performance on high-resource languages while greatly improving low-resource languages. We make our code and models publicly available.

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Self-training Improves Pre-training for Natural Language Understanding
Jingfei Du | Edouard Grave | Beliz Gunel | Vishrav Chaudhary | Onur Celebi | Michael Auli | Veselin Stoyanov | Alexis Conneau
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Unsupervised pre-training has led to much recent progress in natural language understanding. In this paper, we study self-training as another way to leverage unlabeled data through semi-supervised learning. To obtain additional data for a specific task, we introduce SentAugment, a data augmentation method which computes task-specific query embeddings from labeled data to retrieve sentences from a bank of billions of unlabeled sentences crawled from the web. Unlike previous semi-supervised methods, our approach does not require in-domain unlabeled data and is therefore more generally applicable. Experiments show that self-training is complementary to strong RoBERTa baselines on a variety of tasks. Our augmentation approach leads to scalable and effective self-training with improvements of up to 2.6% on standard text classification benchmarks. Finally, we also show strong gains on knowledge-distillation and few-shot learning.

2020

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Pretrained Language Models for Biomedical and Clinical Tasks: Understanding and Extending the State-of-the-Art
Patrick Lewis | Myle Ott | Jingfei Du | Veselin Stoyanov
Proceedings of the 3rd Clinical Natural Language Processing Workshop

A large array of pretrained models are available to the biomedical NLP (BioNLP) community. Finding the best model for a particular task can be difficult and time-consuming. For many applications in the biomedical and clinical domains, it is crucial that models can be built quickly and are highly accurate. We present a large-scale study across 18 established biomedical and clinical NLP tasks to determine which of several popular open-source biomedical and clinical NLP models work well in different settings. Furthermore, we apply recent advances in pretraining to train new biomedical language models, and carefully investigate the effect of various design choices on downstream performance. Our best models perform well in all of our benchmarks, and set new State-of-the-Art in 9 tasks. We release these models in the hope that they can help the community to speed up and increase the accuracy of BioNLP and text mining applications.

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General Purpose Text Embeddings from Pre-trained Language Models for Scalable Inference
Jingfei Du | Myle Ott | Haoran Li | Xing Zhou | Veselin Stoyanov
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

The state of the art on many NLP tasks is currently achieved by large pre-trained language models, which require a considerable amount of computation. We aim to reduce the inference cost in a setting where many different predictions are made on a single piece of text. In that case, computational cost during inference can be amortized over the different predictions (tasks) using a shared text encoder. We compare approaches for training such an encoder and show that encoders pre-trained over multiple tasks generalize well to unseen tasks. We also compare ways of extracting fixed- and limited-size representations from this encoder, including pooling features extracted from multiple layers or positions. Our best approach compares favorably to knowledge distillation, achieving higher accuracy and lower computational cost once the system is handling around 7 tasks. Further, we show that through binary quantization, we can reduce the size of the extracted representations by a factor of 16 to store them for later use. The resulting method offers a compelling solution for using large-scale pre-trained models at a fraction of the computational cost when multiple tasks are performed on the same text.

2019

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Knowledge-Augmented Language Model and Its Application to Unsupervised Named-Entity Recognition
Angli Liu | Jingfei Du | Veselin Stoyanov
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

Traditional language models are unable to efficiently model entity names observed in text. All but the most popular named entities appear infrequently in text providing insufficient context. Recent efforts have recognized that context can be generalized between entity names that share the same type (e.g., person or location) and have equipped language models with an access to external knowledge base (KB). Our Knowledge-Augmented Language Model (KALM) continues this line of work by augmenting a traditional model with a KB. Unlike previous methods, however, we train with an end-to-end predictive objective optimizing the perplexity of text. We do not require any additional information such as named entity tags. In addition to improving language modeling performance, KALM learns to recognize named entities in an entirely unsupervised way by using entity type information latent in the model. On a Named Entity Recognition (NER) task, KALM achieves performance comparable with state-of-the-art supervised models. Our work demonstrates that named entities (and possibly other types of world knowledge) can be modeled successfully using predictive learning and training on large corpora of text without any additional information.