Xiaodi Sun


pdf bib
DynaMaR: Dynamic Prompt with Mask Token Representation
Xiaodi Sun | Sunny Rajagopalan | Priyanka Nigam | Weiyi Lu | Yi Xu | Iman Keivanloo | Belinda Zeng | Trishul Chilimbi
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: Industry Track

Recent research has shown that large language models pretrained using unsupervised approaches can achieve significant performance improvement on many downstream tasks. Typically when adapting these language models to downstream tasks, like a classification or regression task, we employ a fine-tuning paradigm in which the sentence representation from the language model is input to a task-specific head; the model is then fine-tuned end-to-end. However, with the emergence of models like GPT-3, prompt-based fine-tuning has been proven to be a successful approach for few-shot tasks. Inspired by this work, we study discrete prompt technologies in practice. There are two issues that arise with the standard prompt approach. First, it can overfit on the prompt template. Second, it requires manual effort to formulate the downstream task as a language model problem. In this paper, we propose an improvement to prompt-based fine-tuning that addresses these two issues. We refer to our approach as DynaMaR – Dynamic Prompt with Mask Token Representation. Results show that DynaMaR can achieve an average improvement of 10% in few-shot settings and improvement of 3.7% in data-rich settings over the standard fine-tuning approach on four e-commerce applications.

pdf bib
Asynchronous Convergence in Multi-Task Learning via Knowledge Distillation from Converged Tasks
Weiyi Lu | Sunny Rajagopalan | Priyanka Nigam | Jaspreet Singh | Xiaodi Sun | Yi Xu | Belinda Zeng | Trishul Chilimbi
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies: Industry Track

Multi-task learning (MTL) aims to solve multiple tasks jointly by sharing a base representation among them. This can lead to more efficient learning and better generalization, as compared to learning each task individually. However, one issue that often arises in MTL is the convergence speed between tasks varies due to differences in task difficulty, so it can be a challenge to simultaneously achieve the best performance on all tasks with a single model checkpoint. Various techniques have been proposed to address discrepancies in task convergence rate, including weighting the per-task losses and modifying task gradients. In this work, we propose a novel approach that avoids the problem of requiring all tasks to converge at the same rate, but rather allows for “asynchronous” convergence among the tasks where each task can converge on its own schedule. As our main contribution, we monitor per-task validation metrics and switch to a knowledge distillation loss once a task has converged instead of continuing to train on the true labels. This prevents the model from overfitting on converged tasks while it learns the remaining tasks. We evaluate the proposed method in two 5-task MTL setups consisting of internal e-commerce datasets. The results show that our method consistently outperforms existing loss weighting and gradient balancing approaches, achieving average improvements of 0.9% and 1.5% over the best performing baseline model in the two setups, respectively.