On vision-language understanding (VLU) tasks, fusion-encoder vision-language models achieve superior results but sacrifice efficiency because of the simultaneous encoding of images and text. On the contrary, the dual encoder model that separately encodes images and text has the advantage in efficiency, while failing on VLU tasks due to the lack of deep cross-modal interactions. To get the best of both worlds, we propose DiDE, a framework that distills the knowledge of the fusion-encoder teacher model into the dual-encoder student model. Since the cross-modal interaction is the key to the superior performance of teacher model but is absent in the student model, we encourage the student not only to mimic the predictions of teacher, but also to calculate the cross-modal attention distributions and align with the teacher. Experimental results demonstrate that DiDE is competitive with the fusion-encoder teacher model in performance (only a 1% drop) while enjoying 4 times faster inference. Further analyses reveal that the proposed cross-modal attention distillation is crucial to the success of our framework.
Fine-tuning pre-trained cross-lingual language models can transfer task-specific supervision from one language to the others. In this work, we propose to improve cross-lingual fine-tuning with consistency regularization. Specifically, we use example consistency regularization to penalize the prediction sensitivity to four types of data augmentations, i.e., subword sampling, Gaussian noise, code-switch substitution, and machine translation. In addition, we employ model consistency to regularize the models trained with two augmented versions of the same training set. Experimental results on the XTREME benchmark show that our method significantly improves cross-lingual fine-tuning across various tasks, including text classification, question answering, and sequence labeling.
In this work, we present an information-theoretic framework that formulates cross-lingual language model pre-training as maximizing mutual information between multilingual-multi-granularity texts. The unified view helps us to better understand the existing methods for learning cross-lingual representations. More importantly, inspired by the framework, we propose a new pre-training task based on contrastive learning. Specifically, we regard a bilingual sentence pair as two views of the same meaning and encourage their encoded representations to be more similar than the negative examples. By leveraging both monolingual and parallel corpora, we jointly train the pretext tasks to improve the cross-lingual transferability of pre-trained models. Experimental results on several benchmarks show that our approach achieves considerably better performance. The code and pre-trained models are available at https://aka.ms/infoxlm.
Question Answering (QA) has shown great success thanks to the availability of large-scale datasets and the effectiveness of neural models. Recent research works have attempted to extend these successes to the settings with few or no labeled data available. In this work, we introduce two approaches to improve unsupervised QA. First, we harvest lexically and syntactically divergent questions from Wikipedia to automatically construct a corpus of question-answer pairs (named as RefQA). Second, we take advantage of the QA model to extract more appropriate answers, which iteratively refines data over RefQA. We conduct experiments on SQuAD 1.1, and NewsQA by fine-tuning BERT without access to manually annotated data. Our approach outperforms previous unsupervised approaches by a large margin, and is competitive with early supervised models. We also show the effectiveness of our approach in the few-shot learning setting.
Most machine reading comprehension (MRC) models separately handle encoding and matching with different network architectures. In contrast, pretrained language models with Transformer layers, such as GPT (Radford et al., 2018) and BERT (Devlin et al., 2018), have achieved competitive performance on MRC. A research question that naturally arises is: apart from the benefits of pre-training, how many performance gain comes from the unified network architecture. In this work, we evaluate and analyze unifying encoding and matching components with Transformer for the MRC task. Experimental results on SQuAD show that the unified model outperforms previous networks that separately treat encoding and matching. We also introduce a metric to inspect whether a Transformer layer tends to perform encoding or matching. The analysis results show that the unified model learns different modeling strategies compared with previous manually-designed models.
Machine reading comprehension with unanswerable questions is a challenging task. In this work, we propose a data augmentation technique by automatically generating relevant unanswerable questions according to an answerable question paired with its corresponding paragraph that contains the answer. We introduce a pair-to-sequence model for unanswerable question generation, which effectively captures the interactions between the question and the paragraph. We also present a way to construct training data for our question generation models by leveraging the existing reading comprehension dataset. Experimental results show that the pair-to-sequence model performs consistently better compared with the sequence-to-sequence baseline. We further use the automatically generated unanswerable questions as a means of data augmentation on the SQuAD 2.0 dataset, yielding 1.9 absolute F1 improvement with BERT-base model and 1.7 absolute F1 improvement with BERT-large model.
Pre-trained word embeddings and language model have been shown useful in a lot of tasks. However, both of them cannot directly capture word connections in a sentence, which is important for dependency parsing given its goal is to establish dependency relations between words. In this paper, we propose to implicitly capture word connections from unlabeled data by a word ordering model with self-attention mechanism. Experiments show that these implicit word connections do improve our parsing model. Furthermore, by combining with a pre-trained language model, our model gets state-of-the-art performance on the English PTB dataset, achieving 96.35% UAS and 95.25% LAS.
In this paper, we present the gated self-matching networks for reading comprehension style question answering, which aims to answer questions from a given passage. We first match the question and passage with gated attention-based recurrent networks to obtain the question-aware passage representation. Then we propose a self-matching attention mechanism to refine the representation by matching the passage against itself, which effectively encodes information from the whole passage. We finally employ the pointer networks to locate the positions of answers from the passages. We conduct extensive experiments on the SQuAD dataset. The single model achieves 71.3% on the evaluation metrics of exact match on the hidden test set, while the ensemble model further boosts the results to 75.9%. At the time of submission of the paper, our model holds the first place on the SQuAD leaderboard for both single and ensemble model.