Cross-lingual named entity recognition task is one of the critical problems for evaluating the potential transfer learning techniques on low resource languages. Knowledge distillation using pre-trained multilingual language models between source and target languages have shown their superiority in transfer. However, existing cross-lingual distillation models merely consider the potential transferability between two identical single tasks across both domains. Other possible auxiliary tasks to improve the learning performance have not been fully investigated. In this study, based on the knowledge distillation framework and multi-task learning, we introduce the similarity metric model as an auxiliary task to improve the cross-lingual NER performance on the target domain. Specifically, an entity recognizer and a similarity evaluator are first trained in parallel as two teachers from the source domain. Then, two tasks in the student model are supervised by these teachers simultaneously. Empirical studies on the three datasets across 7 different languages confirm the effectiveness of the proposed model.
Overfitting is a notorious problem when there is insufficient data to train deep neural networks in machine learning tasks. Data augmentation regularization methods such as Dropout, Mixup, and their enhanced variants are effective and prevalent, and achieve promising performance to overcome overfitting. However, in text learning, most of the existing regularization approaches merely adopt ideas from computer vision without considering the importance of dimensionality in natural language processing. In this paper, we argue that the property is essential to overcome overfitting in text learning. Accordingly, we present a saliency map informed textual data augmentation and regularization framework, which combines Dropout and Mixup, namely DropMix, to mitigate the overfitting problem in text learning. In addition, we design a procedure that drops and patches fine grained shapes of the saliency map under the DropMix framework to enhance regularization. Empirical studies confirm the effectiveness of the proposed approach on 12 text classification tasks.