Transformer-based models have made tremendous impacts in natural language generation. However the inference speed is a bottleneck due to large model size and intensive computing involved in auto-regressive decoding process. We develop FastSeq framework to accelerate sequence generation without accuracy loss. The proposed optimization techniques include an attention cache optimization, an efficient algorithm for detecting repeated n-grams, and an asynchronous generation pipeline with parallel I/O. These optimizations are general enough to be applicable to Transformer-based models (e.g., T5, GPT2, and UniLM). Our benchmark results on a set of widely used and diverse models demonstrate 4-9x inference speed gain. Additionally, FastSeq is easy to use with a simple one-line code change. The source code is available at https://github.com/microsoft/fastseq.
Now, the pre-training technique is ubiquitous in natural language processing field. ProphetNet is a pre-training based natural language generation method which shows powerful performance on English text summarization and question generation tasks. In this paper, we extend ProphetNet into other domains and languages, and present the ProphetNet family pre-training models, named ProphetNet-X, where X can be English, Chinese, Multi-lingual, and so on. We pre-train a cross-lingual generation model ProphetNet-Multi, a Chinese generation model ProphetNet-Zh, two open-domain dialog generation models ProphetNet-Dialog-En and ProphetNet-Dialog-Zh. And also, we provide a PLG (Programming Language Generation) model ProphetNet-Code to show the generation performance besides NLG (Natural Language Generation) tasks. In our experiments, ProphetNet-X models achieve new state-of-the-art performance on 10 benchmarks. All the models of ProphetNet-X share the same model structure, which allows users to easily switch between different models. We make the code and models publicly available, and we will keep updating more pre-training models and finetuning scripts.
In this paper, we propose a novel data augmentation method, referred to as Controllable Rewriting based Question Data Augmentation (CRQDA), for machine reading comprehension (MRC), question generation, and question-answering natural language inference tasks. We treat the question data augmentation task as a constrained question rewriting problem to generate context-relevant, high-quality, and diverse question data samples. CRQDA utilizes a Transformer Autoencoder to map the original discrete question into a continuous embedding space. It then uses a pre-trained MRC model to revise the question representation iteratively with gradient-based optimization. Finally, the revised question representations are mapped back into the discrete space, which serve as additional question data. Comprehensive experiments on SQuAD 2.0, SQuAD 1.1 question generation, and QNLI tasks demonstrate the effectiveness of CRQDA.
This paper presents a new sequence-to-sequence pre-training model called ProphetNet, which introduces a novel self-supervised objective named future n-gram prediction and the proposed n-stream self-attention mechanism. Instead of optimizing one-step-ahead prediction in the traditional sequence-to-sequence model, the ProphetNet is optimized by n-step ahead prediction that predicts the next n tokens simultaneously based on previous context tokens at each time step. The future n-gram prediction explicitly encourages the model to plan for the future tokens and prevent overfitting on strong local correlations. We pre-train ProphetNet using a base scale dataset (16GB) and a large-scale dataset (160GB), respectively. Then we conduct experiments on CNN/DailyMail, Gigaword, and SQuAD 1.1 benchmarks for abstractive summarization and question generation tasks. Experimental results show that ProphetNet achieves new state-of-the-art results on all these datasets compared to the models using the same scale pre-training corpus.
Reading long documents to answer open-domain questions remains challenging in natural language understanding. In this paper, we introduce a new model, called RikiNet, which reads Wikipedia pages for natural question answering. RikiNet contains a dynamic paragraph dual-attention reader and a multi-level cascaded answer predictor. The reader dynamically represents the document and question by utilizing a set of complementary attention mechanisms. The representations are then fed into the predictor to obtain the span of the short answer, the paragraph of the long answer, and the answer type in a cascaded manner. On the Natural Questions (NQ) dataset, a single RikiNet achieves 74.3 F1 and 57.9 F1 on long-answer and short-answer tasks. To our best knowledge, it is the first single model that outperforms the single human performance. Furthermore, an ensemble RikiNet obtains 76.1 F1 and 61.3 F1 on long-answer and short-answer tasks, achieving the best performance on the official NQ leaderboard.