Tomer Lancewicki


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Multi-armed bandits for resource efficient, online optimization of language model pre-training: the use case of dynamic masking
Inigo Urteaga | Moulay Zaidane Draidia | Tomer Lancewicki | Shahram Khadivi
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

We design and evaluate a Bayesian optimization framework for resource efficient pre-training of Transformer-based language models (TLMs). TLM pre-training requires high computational resources and introduces many unresolved design choices, such as selecting its pre-training hyperparameters.We propose a multi-armed bandit framework for the sequential selection of pre-training hyperparameters, aimed at optimizing language model performance, in a resource efficient manner. We design a Thompson sampling algorithm, with a surrogate Gaussian process reward model of the Masked Language Model (MLM) pre-training objective, for its sequential minimization. Instead of MLM pre-training with fixed masking probabilities, the proposed Gaussian process-based Thompson sampling (GP-TS) accelerates pre-training by sequentially selecting masking hyperparameters that improve performance. We empirically demonstrate how GP-TS pre-trains language models efficiently, i.e., it achieves lower MLM loss in fewer epochs, across a variety of settings. In addition, GP-TS pre-trained TLMs attain competitive downstream performance, while avoiding expensive hyperparameter grid search. GP-TS provides an interactive framework for efficient and optimized TLM pre-training that, by circumventing costly hyperparameter selection, enables substantial computational savings.


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Integrated Training for Sequence-to-Sequence Models Using Non-Autoregressive Transformer
Evgeniia Tokarchuk | Jan Rosendahl | Weiyue Wang | Pavel Petrushkov | Tomer Lancewicki | Shahram Khadivi | Hermann Ney
Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2021)

Complex natural language applications such as speech translation or pivot translation traditionally rely on cascaded models. However,cascaded models are known to be prone to error propagation and model discrepancy problems. Furthermore, there is no possibility of using end-to-end training data in conventional cascaded systems, meaning that the training data most suited for the task cannot be used. Previous studies suggested several approaches for integrated end-to-end training to overcome those problems, however they mostly rely on(synthetic or natural) three-way data. We propose a cascaded model based on the non-autoregressive Transformer that enables end-to-end training without the need for an explicit intermediate representation. This new architecture (i) avoids unnecessary early decisions that can cause errors which are then propagated throughout the cascaded models and (ii) utilizes the end-to-end training data directly. We conduct an evaluation on two pivot-based machine translation tasks, namely French→German and German→Czech. Our experimental results show that the proposed architecture yields an improvement of more than 2 BLEU for French→German over the cascaded baseline.