Pre-trained language models like BERT have proven to be highly performant. However, they are often computationally expensive in many practical scenarios, for such heavy models can hardly be readily implemented with limited resources. To improve their efficiency with an assured model performance, we propose a novel speed-tunable FastBERT with adaptive inference time. The speed at inference can be flexibly adjusted under varying demands, while redundant calculation of samples is avoided. Moreover, this model adopts a unique self-distillation mechanism at fine-tuning, further enabling a greater computational efficacy with minimal loss in performance. Our model achieves promising results in twelve English and Chinese datasets. It is able to speed up by a wide range from 1 to 12 times than BERT if given different speedup thresholds to make a speed-performance tradeoff.
Joint extraction of entities and relations is an important task in information extraction. To tackle this problem, we firstly propose a novel tagging scheme that can convert the joint extraction task to a tagging problem.. Then, based on our tagging scheme, we study different end-to-end models to extract entities and their relations directly, without identifying entities and relations separately. We conduct experiments on a public dataset produced by distant supervision method and the experimental results show that the tagging based methods are better than most of the existing pipelined and joint learning methods. What’s more, the end-to-end model proposed in this paper, achieves the best results on the public dataset.
Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) is one of the most popular architectures used in Natural Language Processsing (NLP) tasks because its recurrent structure is very suitable to process variable-length text. RNN can utilize distributed representations of words by first converting the tokens comprising each text into vectors, which form a matrix. And this matrix includes two dimensions: the time-step dimension and the feature vector dimension. Then most existing models usually utilize one-dimensional (1D) max pooling operation or attention-based operation only on the time-step dimension to obtain a fixed-length vector. However, the features on the feature vector dimension are not mutually independent, and simply applying 1D pooling operation over the time-step dimension independently may destroy the structure of the feature representation. On the other hand, applying two-dimensional (2D) pooling operation over the two dimensions may sample more meaningful features for sequence modeling tasks. To integrate the features on both dimensions of the matrix, this paper explores applying 2D max pooling operation to obtain a fixed-length representation of the text. This paper also utilizes 2D convolution to sample more meaningful information of the matrix. Experiments are conducted on six text classification tasks, including sentiment analysis, question classification, subjectivity classification and newsgroup classification. Compared with the state-of-the-art models, the proposed models achieve excellent performance on 4 out of 6 tasks. Specifically, one of the proposed models achieves highest accuracy on Stanford Sentiment Treebank binary classification and fine-grained classification tasks.