Learning representations of words in a continuous space is perhaps the most fundamental task in NLP, however words interact in ways much richer than vector dot product similarity can provide. Many relationships between words can be expressed set-theoretically, for example, adjective-noun compounds (eg. “red cars”⊆“cars”) and homographs (eg. “tongue”∩“body” should be similar to “mouth”, while “tongue”∩“language” should be similar to “dialect”) have natural set-theoretic interpretations. Box embeddings are a novel region-based representation which provide the capability to perform these set-theoretic operations. In this work, we provide a fuzzy-set interpretation of box embeddings, and learn box representations of words using a set-theoretic training objective. We demonstrate improved performance on various word similarity tasks, particularly on less common words, and perform a quantitative and qualitative analysis exploring the additional unique expressivity provided by Word2Box.
How well can NLP models generalize to a variety of unseen tasks when provided with task instructions? To address this question, we first introduce Super-NaturalInstructions, a benchmark of 1,616 diverse NLP tasks and their expert-written instructions. Our collection covers 76 distinct task types, including but not limited to classification, extraction, infilling, sequence tagging, text rewriting, and text composition. This large and diverse collection of tasks enables rigorous benchmarking of cross-task generalization under instructions—training models to follow instructions on a subset of tasks and evaluating them on the remaining unseen ones. Furthermore, we build Tk-Instruct, a transformer model trained to follow a variety of in-context instructions (plain language task definitions or k-shot examples). Our experiments show that Tk-Instruct outperforms existing instruction-following models such as InstructGPT by over 9% on our benchmark despite being an order of magnitude smaller. We further analyze generalization as a function of various scaling parameters, such as the number of observed tasks, the number of instances per task, and model sizes. We hope our dataset and model facilitate future progress towards more general-purpose NLP models.