Sara Rajaee


2022

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Looking at the Overlooked: An Analysis on the Word-Overlap Bias in Natural Language Inference
Sara Rajaee | Yadollah Yaghoobzadeh | Mohammad Taher Pilehvar
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

It has been shown that NLI models are usually biased with respect to the word-overlap between the premise and the hypothesis, as they take this feature as a primary cue for predicting the entailment label. In this paper, we focus on an overlooked aspect of the overlap bias in the NLI models: the reverse word-overlap bias. Our experimental results demonstrate that current NLI systems are also highly biased towards the non-entailment label on instances with low overlap and that existing debiasing methods, which are reportedly successful on challenge datasets, are generally ineffective in addressing this category of bias. Through a set of analyses, we investigate the reasons for the emergence of the overlap bias and the role of minority examples in mitigating this bias. For the former, we find that the word overlap bias does not stem from pre-training, and in the latter, we observe that in contrast to the accepted assumption, eliminating minority examples does not affect the generalizability of debiasing methods with respect to the overlap bias.

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An Empirical Study on the Transferability of Transformer Modules in Parameter-efficient Fine-tuning
Mohammad AkbarTajari | Sara Rajaee | Mohammad Taher Pilehvar
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Parameter-efficient fine-tuning has garnered lots of attention in recent studies. On this subject, we investigate the capability of different transformer modules in transferring knowledge from a pre-trained model to a downstream task. Our empirical results suggest that every transformer module is a winning ticket such that fine-tuning the specific module while the rest of the network is frozen achieves a comparable performance to the full fine-tuning case. Among different modules in LMs, LayerNorms exhibit a significant capacity for transfer learning to the extent that with only 0.003% updateable parameters in the layer-wise analysis, they can show acceptable performance on various target tasks. We argue that the performance of LayerNorms could be attributed to their high-magnitude weights compared to other components in a pre-trained model.

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On the Importance of Data Size in Probing Fine-tuned Models
Houman Mehrafarin | Sara Rajaee | Mohammad Taher Pilehvar
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Several studies have investigated the reasons behind the effectiveness of fine-tuning, usually through the lens of probing. However, these studies often neglect the role of the size of the dataset on which the model is fine-tuned. In this paper, we highlight the importance of this factor and its undeniable role in probing performance. We show that the extent of encoded linguistic knowledge depends on the number of fine-tuning samples. The analysis also reveals that larger training data mainly affects higher layers, and that the extent of this change is a factor of the number of iterations updating the model during fine-tuning rather than the diversity of the training samples. Finally, we show through a set of experiments that fine-tuning data size affects the recoverability of the changes made to the model’s linguistic knowledge.

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An Isotropy Analysis in the Multilingual BERT Embedding Space
Sara Rajaee | Mohammad Taher Pilehvar
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Several studies have explored various advantages of multilingual pre-trained models (such as multilingual BERT) in capturing shared linguistic knowledge. However, less attention has been paid to their limitations. In this paper, we investigate the multilingual BERT for two known issues of the monolingual models: anisotropic embedding space and outlier dimensions. We show that, unlike its monolingual counterpart, the multilingual BERT model exhibits no outlier dimension in its representations while it has a highly anisotropic space. There are a few dimensions in the monolingual BERT with high contributions to the anisotropic distribution. However, we observe no such dimensions in the multilingual BERT. Furthermore, our experimental results demonstrate that increasing the isotropy of multilingual space can significantly improve its representation power and performance, similarly to what had been observed for monolingual CWRs on semantic similarity tasks. Our analysis indicates that, despite having different degenerated directions, the embedding spaces in various languages tend to be partially similar with respect to their structures.

2021

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A Cluster-based Approach for Improving Isotropy in Contextual Embedding Space
Sara Rajaee | Mohammad Taher Pilehvar
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)

The representation degeneration problem in Contextual Word Representations (CWRs) hurts the expressiveness of the embedding space by forming an anisotropic cone where even unrelated words have excessively positive correlations. Existing techniques for tackling this issue require a learning process to re-train models with additional objectives and mostly employ a global assessment to study isotropy. Our quantitative analysis over isotropy shows that a local assessment could be more accurate due to the clustered structure of CWRs. Based on this observation, we propose a local cluster-based method to address the degeneration issue in contextual embedding spaces. We show that in clusters including punctuations and stop words, local dominant directions encode structural information, removing which can improve CWRs performance on semantic tasks. Moreover, we find that tense information in verb representations dominates sense semantics. We show that removing dominant directions of verb representations can transform the space to better suit semantic applications. Our experiments demonstrate that the proposed cluster-based method can mitigate the degeneration problem on multiple tasks.

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How Does Fine-tuning Affect the Geometry of Embedding Space: A Case Study on Isotropy
Sara Rajaee | Mohammad Taher Pilehvar
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

It is widely accepted that fine-tuning pre-trained language models usually brings about performance improvements in downstream tasks. However, there are limited studies on the reasons behind this effectiveness, particularly from the viewpoint of structural changes in the embedding space. Trying to fill this gap, in this paper, we analyze the extent to which the isotropy of the embedding space changes after fine-tuning. We demonstrate that, even though isotropy is a desirable geometrical property, fine-tuning does not necessarily result in isotropy enhancements. Moreover, local structures in pre-trained contextual word representations (CWRs), such as those encoding token types or frequency, undergo a massive change during fine-tuning. Our experiments show dramatic growth in the number of elongated directions in the embedding space, which, in contrast to pre-trained CWRs, carry the essential linguistic knowledge in the fine-tuned embedding space, making existing isotropy enhancement methods ineffective.