Ting Hua


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Adaptive Rank Selections for Low-Rank Approximation of Language Models
Shangqian Gao | Ting Hua | Yen-Chang Hsu | Yilin Shen | Hongxia Jin
Proceedings of the 2024 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) or its weighted variants has significantly progressed in compressing language models. Previous works assume the same importance for all operations and assign the same number of ranks for different layers in a language model. However, such a uniform rank selection is sub-optimal since different operations (layers) have non-uniform demand in capacity. In other words, a desired SVD strategy should allocate more ranks for important operations and vice versa. However, a globally-optimized selection of ranks for neural networks is still an open problem, and this is a non-trivial challenge since the selection is discrete. In this work, we propose a novel binary masking mechanism for optimizing the number of ranks in a differentiable framework. Our strategy uses a novel regularization to enable the masking to comply with the SVD property where the ranks have sorted singular values. The experiments examined both types of language models, encoder-only and decoder-only models, including large language models like LLaMA. Our compressed model achieves much better accuracy than previous SVD and their SOTA variants. More interestingly, our method retains significantly better accuracy with zero or limited fine-tuning, proving the substantial advantage of adaptive rank selection.


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Dynamic Low-rank Estimation for Transformer-based Language Models
Ting Hua | Xiao Li | Shangqian Gao | Yen-Chang Hsu | Yilin Shen | Hongxia Jin
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Matrix decomposition methods, such as Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) and its importance-weighted variants, have been widely used for compressing Transformer-based language models. While importance-weighted decomposition methods alleviate the strong assumption of equal importance for each parameter in SVD, they still rely on two fundamental assumptions: 1) unchanged importance distribution during further fine-tuning, 2) equal importance across weight matrices in different layers. Furthermore, these methods necessitate a well-trained task-specific model as the starting point and require additional fine-tuning after compression. In this work, we proposed RankDyna, a matrix decomposition method that enables dynamic rank resource allocation among matrices across different layers during the training process. Starting from a general pre-trained model, RankDyna accomplishes the dual goals of compression and adaptation to the downstream task, all within a single round of fine-tuning. The extensive evaluations demonstrate that RankDyna can outperform current SOTA methods under various parameter budget levels, and the advantage of RankDyna is further enhanced with higher compression rates.


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Numerical Optimizations for Weighted Low-rank Estimation on Language Models
Ting Hua | Yen-Chang Hsu | Felicity Wang | Qian Lou | Yilin Shen | Hongxia Jin
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Singular value decomposition (SVD) is one of the most popular compression methods that approximate a target matrix with smaller matrices. However, standard SVD treats the parameters within the matrix with equal importance, which is a simple but unrealistic assumption. The parameters of a trained neural network model may affect the task performance unevenly, which suggests non-equal importance among the parameters. Compared to SVD, the decomposition method aware of parameter importance is the more practical choice in real cases. Unlike standard SVD, weighed value decomposition is a non-convex optimization problem that lacks a closed-form solution. We systematically investigated multiple optimization strategies to tackle the problem and examined our method by compressing Transformer-based language models.Further, we designed a metric to predict when the SVD may introduce a significant performance drop, for which our method can be a rescue strategy.The extensive evaluations demonstrate that our method can perform better than current SOTA methods in compressing Transformer-based language models.


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Hyperparameter-free Continuous Learning for Domain Classification in Natural Language Understanding
Ting Hua | Yilin Shen | Changsheng Zhao | Yen-Chang Hsu | Hongxia Jin
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Domain classification is the fundamental task in natural language understanding (NLU), which often requires fast accommodation to new emerging domains. This constraint makes it impossible to retrain all previous domains, even if they are accessible to the new model. Most existing continual learning approaches suffer from low accuracy and performance fluctuation, especially when the distributions of old and new data are significantly different. In fact, the key real-world problem is not the absence of old data, but the inefficiency to retrain the model with the whole old dataset. Is it potential to utilize some old data to yield high accuracy and maintain stable performance, while at the same time, without introducing extra hyperparameters? In this paper, we proposed a hyperparameter-free continual learning model for text data that can stably produce high performance under various environments. Specifically, we utilize Fisher information to select exemplars that can “record” key information of the original model. Also, a novel scheme called dynamical weight consolidation is proposed to enable hyperparameter-free learning during the retrain process. Extensive experiments demonstrate baselines provide fluctuated performance which makes them useless in practice. On the contrary, our proposed model significantly and consistently outperforms the best state-of-the-art method by up to 20% in average accuracy, and each of its component contributes effectively to overall performance.