Smoothed Contrastive Learning for Unsupervised Sentence Embedding
Xing Wu | Chaochen Gao | Yipeng Su | Jizhong Han | Zhongyuan Wang | Songlin Hu
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics
Unsupervised contrastive sentence embedding models, e.g., unsupervised SimCSE, use the InfoNCE loss function in training. Theoretically, we expect to use larger batches to get more adequate comparisons among samples and avoid overfitting. However, increasing batch size leads to performance degradation when it exceeds a threshold, which is probably due to the introduction of false-negative pairs through statistical observation. To alleviate this problem, we introduce a simple smoothing strategy upon the InfoNCE loss function, termed Gaussian Smoothed InfoNCE (GS-InfoNCE). In other words, we add random Gaussian noise as an extension to the negative pairs without increasing the batch size. Through experiments on the semantic text similarity tasks, though simple, the proposed smoothing strategy brings improvements to unsupervised SimCSE.