Wen Tai


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exBERT: Extending Pre-trained Models with Domain-specific Vocabulary Under Constrained Training Resources
Wen Tai | H. T. Kung | Xin Dong | Marcus Comiter | Chang-Fu Kuo
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

We introduce exBERT, a training method to extend BERT pre-trained models from a general domain to a new pre-trained model for a specific domain with a new additive vocabulary under constrained training resources (i.e., constrained computation and data). exBERT uses a small extension module to learn to adapt an augmenting embedding for the new domain in the context of the original BERT’s embedding of a general vocabulary. The exBERT training method is novel in learning the new vocabulary and the extension module while keeping the weights of the original BERT model fixed, resulting in a substantial reduction in required training resources. We pre-train exBERT with biomedical articles from ClinicalKey and PubMed Central, and study its performance on biomedical downstream benchmark tasks using the MTL-Bioinformatics-2016 datasets. We demonstrate that exBERT consistently outperforms prior approaches when using limited corpus and pre-training computation resources.