Kurt Keutzer


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MITRA-zh: An efficient, open machine translation solution for Buddhist Chinese
Sebastian Nehrdich | Marcus Bingenheimer | Justin Brody | Kurt Keutzer
Proceedings of the Joint 3rd International Conference on Natural Language Processing for Digital Humanities and 8th International Workshop on Computational Linguistics for Uralic Languages

Buddhist Classical Chinese is a challenging low-resource language that has not yet received much dedicated attention in NLP research. Standard commercial machine translation software performs poorly on this idiom. In order to address this gap, we present a novel dataset of 209,454 bitext pairs for the training and 2.300 manually curated and corrected bitext pairs for the evaluation of machine translation models. We finetune a number of encoder-decoder models on this dataset and compare their performance against commercial models. We show that our best fine-tuned model outperforms the currently available commercial solutions by a considerable margin while being much more cost-efficient and faster in deployment. This is especially important for digital humanities, where large amounts of data need to be processed efficiently for corpus-level operations such as topic modeling or semantic search. We also show that the commercial chat system GPT4 is surprisingly strong on this task, at times reaching comparable performance to our finetuned model and clearly outperforming standard machine translation providers. We provide a limited case study where we examine the performance of selected different machine translation models on a number of Buddhist Chinese passages in order to demonstrate what level of quality these models reach at the moment.

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Scaling Vision-Language Models with Sparse Mixture of Experts
Sheng Shen | Zhewei Yao | Chunyuan Li | Trevor Darrell | Kurt Keutzer | Yuxiong He
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

The field of natural language processing (NLP) has made significant strides in recent years, particularly in the development of large-scale vision-language models (VLMs). These models aim to bridge the gap between text and visual information, enabling a more comprehensive understanding of multimedia data. However, as these models become larger and more complex, they also become more challenging to train and deploy. One approach to addressing this challenge is the use of sparsely-gated mixture-of-experts (MoE) techniques, which divide the model into smaller, specialized sub-models that can jointly solve a task. In this paper, we explore the effectiveness of MoE in scaling vision-language models, demonstrating its potential to achieve state-of-the-art performance on a range of benchmarks over dense models of equivalent computational cost. Our research offers valuable insights into stabilizing the training of MoE models, understanding the impact of MoE on model interpretability, and balancing the trade-offs between compute performance when scaling VLMs. We hope our work will inspire further research into the use of MoE for scaling large-scale vision-language models and other multimodal machine learning applications.

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Simple and Effective Input Reformulations for Translation
Brian Yu | Hansen Lillemark | Kurt Keutzer
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Foundation language models learn from their finetuning input context in different ways. In this paper, we reformulate inputs during finetuning for challenging translation tasks, leveraging model strengths from pretraining in novel ways to improve downstream performance. These reformulations are simple data level modifications, require no additional collection of training data or modification of data at inference time. They can be applied either on single language pair translation tasks or massively multilingual translation tasks. Experiments with these techniques demonstrate significant performance improvements up to 3.5 chrF++ on the Flores200 translation benchmark. We hope our research accessibly improves finetuning data efficiency, enabling more effective training to scalably improve state-of-the-art performance. Our code is released here.


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What’s Hidden in a One-layer Randomly Weighted Transformer?
Sheng Shen | Zhewei Yao | Douwe Kiela | Kurt Keutzer | Michael Mahoney
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

We demonstrate that, hidden within one-layer randomly weighted neural networks, there exist subnetworks that can achieve impressive performance, without ever modifying the weight initializations, on machine translation tasks. To find subnetworks for one-layer randomly weighted neural networks, we apply different binary masks to the same weight matrix to generate different layers. Hidden within a one-layer randomly weighted Transformer, we find that subnetworks that can achieve 29.45/17.29 BLEU on IWSLT14/WMT14. Using a fixed pre-trained embedding layer, the previously found subnetworks are smaller than, but can match 98%/92% (34.14/25.24 BLEU) of the performance of, a trained Transformersmall/base on IWSLT14/WMT14. Furthermore, we demonstrate the effectiveness of larger and deeper transformers in this setting, as well as the impact of different initialization methods.

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Reservoir Transformers
Sheng Shen | Alexei Baevski | Ari Morcos | Kurt Keutzer | Michael Auli | Douwe Kiela
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We demonstrate that transformers obtain impressive performance even when some of the layers are randomly initialized and never updated. Inspired by old and well-established ideas in machine learning, we explore a variety of non-linear “reservoir” layers interspersed with regular transformer layers, and show improvements in wall-clock compute time until convergence, as well as overall performance, on various machine translation and (masked) language modelling tasks.


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SqueezeBERT: What can computer vision teach NLP about efficient neural networks?
Forrest Iandola | Albert Shaw | Ravi Krishna | Kurt Keutzer
Proceedings of SustaiNLP: Workshop on Simple and Efficient Natural Language Processing

Humans read and write hundreds of billions of messages every day. Further, due to the availability of large datasets, large computing systems, and better neural network models, natural language processing (NLP) technology has made significant strides in understanding, proofreading, and organizing these messages. Thus, there is a significant opportunity to deploy NLP in myriad applications to help web users, social networks, and businesses. Toward this end, we consider smartphones and other mobile devices as crucial platforms for deploying NLP models at scale. However, today’s highly-accurate NLP neural network models such as BERT and RoBERTa are extremely computationally expensive, with BERT-base taking 1.7 seconds to classify a text snippet on a Pixel 3 smartphone. To begin to address this problem, we draw inspiration from the computer vision community, where work such as MobileNet has demonstrated that grouped convolutions (e.g. depthwise convolutions) can enable speedups without sacrificing accuracy. We demonstrate how to replace several operations in self-attention layers with grouped convolutions, and we use this technique in a novel network architecture called SqueezeBERT, which runs 4.3x faster than BERT-base on the Pixel 3 while achieving competitive accuracy on the GLUE test set. A PyTorch-based implementation of SqueezeBERT is available as part of the Hugging Face Transformers library: https://huggingface.co/squeezebert


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Efficient Parallel CKY Parsing on GPUs
Youngmin Yi | Chao-Yue Lai | Slav Petrov | Kurt Keutzer
Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Parsing Technologies