The Case for Translation-Invariant Self-Attention in Transformer-Based Language Models
Gustav Eje Henter
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)
Mechanisms for encoding positional information are central for transformer-based language models. In this paper, we analyze the position embeddings of existing language models, finding strong evidence of translation invariance, both for the embeddings themselves and for their effect on self-attention. The degree of translation invariance increases during training and correlates positively with model performance. Our findings lead us to propose translation-invariant self-attention (TISA), which accounts for the relative position between tokens in an interpretable fashion without needing conventional position embeddings. Our proposal has several theoretical advantages over existing position-representation approaches. Proof-of-concept experiments show that it improves on regular ALBERT on GLUE tasks, while only adding orders of magnitude less positional parameters.
Entity, Relation, and Event Extraction with Contextualized Span Representations
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)
We examine the capabilities of a unified, multi-task framework for three information extraction tasks: named entity recognition, relation extraction, and event extraction. Our framework (called DyGIE++) accomplishes all tasks by enumerating, refining, and scoring text spans designed to capture local (within-sentence) and global (cross-sentence) context. Our framework achieves state-of-the-art results across all tasks, on four datasets from a variety of domains. We perform experiments comparing different techniques to construct span representations. Contextualized embeddings like BERT perform well at capturing relationships among entities in the same or adjacent sentences, while dynamic span graph updates model long-range cross-sentence relationships. For instance, propagating span representations via predicted coreference links can enable the model to disambiguate challenging entity mentions. Our code is publicly available at https://github.com/dwadden/dygiepp and can be easily adapted for new tasks or datasets.