Utsav Maskey


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Nepali Encoder Transformers: An Analysis of Auto Encoding Transformer Language Models for Nepali Text Classification
Utsav Maskey | Manish Bhatta | Shiva Bhatt | Sanket Dhungel | Bal Krishna Bal
Proceedings of the 1st Annual Meeting of the ELRA/ISCA Special Interest Group on Under-Resourced Languages

Language model pre-training has significantly impacted NLP and resulted in performance gains on many NLP-related tasks, but comparative study of different approaches on many low-resource languages seems to be missing. This paper attempts to investigate appropriate methods for pretraining a Transformer-based model for the Nepali language. We focus on the language-specific aspects that need to be considered for modeling. Although some language models have been trained for Nepali, the study is far from sufficient. We train three distinct Transformer-based masked language models for Nepali text sequences: distilbert-base (Sanh et al., 2019) for its efficiency and minuteness, deberta-base (P. He et al., 2020) for its capability of modeling the dependency of nearby token pairs and XLM-ROBERTa (Conneau et al., 2020) for its capabilities to handle multilingual downstream tasks. We evaluate and compare these models with other Transformer-based models on a downstream classification task with an aim to suggest an effective strategy for training low-resource language models and their fine-tuning.