Se-Young Yun


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Revisiting Intermediate Layer Distillation for Compressing Language Models: An Overfitting Perspective
Jongwoo Ko | Seungjoon Park | Minchan Jeong | Sukjin Hong | Euijai Ahn | Du-Seong Chang | Se-Young Yun
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EACL 2023

Knowledge distillation (KD) is a highly promising method for mitigating the computational problems of pre-trained language models (PLMs). Among various KD approaches, Intermediate Layer Distillation (ILD) has been a de facto standard KD method with its performance efficacy in the NLP field. In this paper, we find that existing ILD methods are prone to overfitting to training datasets, although these methods transfer more information than the original KD. Next, we present the simple observations to mitigate the overfitting of ILD: distilling only the last Transformer layer and conducting ILD on supplementary tasks. Based on our two findings, we propose a simple yet effective consistency-regularized ILD (CR-ILD), which prevents the student model from overfitting the training dataset. Substantial experiments on distilling BERT on the GLUE benchmark and several synthetic datasets demonstrate that our proposed ILD method outperforms other KD techniques. Our code is available at

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Large Language Models Are Reasoning Teachers
Namgyu Ho | Laura Schmid | Se-Young Yun
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Recent works have shown that chain-of-thought (CoT) prompting can elicit language models to solve complex reasoning tasks, step-by-step. However, prompt-based CoT methods are dependent on very large models such as GPT-3 175B which are prohibitive to deploy at scale. In this paper, we use these large models as reasoning teachers to enable complex reasoning in smaller models and reduce model size requirements by several orders of magnitude. We propose Fine-tune-CoT, a method that generates reasoning samples from very large teacher models to fine-tune smaller models. We evaluate our method on a wide range of public models and complex tasks. We find that Fine-tune-CoT enables substantial reasoning capability in small models, far outperforming prompt-based baselines and even the teacher model in many tasks. Additionally, we extend our method by leveraging the teacher model’s ability to generate multiple distinct rationales for each original sample. Enriching the fine-tuning data with such diverse reasoning results in a substantial performance boost across datasets, even for very small models. We conduct ablations and sample studies to understand the emergence of reasoning capabilities of student models. Our code implementation and data are available at


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Synergy with Translation Artifacts for Training and Inference in Multilingual Tasks
Jaehoon Oh | Jongwoo Ko | Se-Young Yun
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Translation has played a crucial role in improving the performance on multilingual tasks: (1) to generate the target language data from the source language data for training and (2) to generate the source language data from the target language data for inference. However, prior works have not considered the use of both translations simultaneously. This paper shows that combining them can synergize the results on various multilingual sentence classification tasks. We empirically find that translation artifacts stylized by translators are the main factor of the performance gain. Based on this analysis, we adopt two training methods, SupCon and MixUp, considering translation artifacts. Furthermore, we propose a cross-lingual fine-tuning algorithm called MUSC, which uses SupCon and MixUp jointly and improves the performance. Our code is available at