Recently, finetuning a pretrained language model to capture the similarity between sentence embeddings has shown the state-of-the-art performance on the semantic textual similarity (STS) task. However, the absence of an interpretation method for the sentence similarity makes it difficult to explain the model output. In this work, we explicitly describe the sentence distance as the weighted sum of contextualized token distances on the basis of a transportation problem, and then present the optimal transport-based distance measure, named RCMD; it identifies and leverages semantically-aligned token pairs. In the end, we propose CLRCMD, a contrastive learning framework that optimizes RCMD of sentence pairs, which enhances the quality of sentence similarity and their interpretation. Extensive experiments demonstrate that our learning framework outperforms other baselines on both STS and interpretable-STS benchmarks, indicating that it computes effective sentence similarity and also provides interpretation consistent with human judgement.
Typically, tokenization is the very first step in most text processing works. As a token serves as an atomic unit that embeds the contextual information of text, how to define a token plays a decisive role in the performance of a model. Even though Byte Pair Encoding (BPE) has been considered the de facto standard tokenization method due to its simplicity and universality, it still remains unclear whether BPE works best across all languages and tasks. In this paper, we test several tokenization strategies in order to answer our primary research question, that is, “What is the best tokenization strategy for Korean NLP tasks?” Experimental results demonstrate that a hybrid approach of morphological segmentation followed by BPE works best in Korean to/from English machine translation and natural language understanding tasks such as KorNLI, KorSTS, NSMC, and PAWS-X. As an exception, for KorQuAD, the Korean extension of SQuAD, BPE segmentation turns out to be the most effective. Our code and pre-trained models are publicly available at https://github.com/kakaobrain/kortok.