Nathan Susanj


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Revisiting Pretraining with Adapters
Seungwon Kim | Alex Shum | Nathan Susanj | Jonathan Hilgart
Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Representation Learning for NLP (RepL4NLP-2021)

Pretrained language models have served as the backbone for many state-of-the-art NLP results. These models are large and expensive to train. Recent work suggests that continued pretraining on task-specific data is worth the effort as pretraining leads to improved performance on downstream tasks. We explore alternatives to full-scale task-specific pretraining of language models through the use of adapter modules, a parameter-efficient approach to transfer learning. We find that adapter-based pretraining is able to achieve comparable results to task-specific pretraining while using a fraction of the overall trainable parameters. We further explore direct use of adapters without pretraining and find that the direct fine-tuning performs mostly on par with pretrained adapter models, contradicting previously proposed benefits of continual pretraining in full pretraining fine-tuning strategies. Lastly, we perform an ablation study on task-adaptive pretraining to investigate how different hyperparameter settings can change the effectiveness of the pretraining.