This paper presents Z-Code++, a new pre-trained language model optimized for abstractive text summarization. The model extends the state-of-the-art encoder-decoder model using three techniques. First, we use a two-phase pre-training to improve the model’s performance on low-resource summarization tasks. The model is first pre-trained using text corpora for language understanding, then is continually pre-trained on summarization corpora for grounded text generation. Second, we replace self-attention layers in the encoder with disentangled attention layers, where each word is represented using two vectors that encode its content and position, respectively. Third, we use fusion-in-encoder, a simple yet effective method of encoding long sequences in a hierarchical manner. Z-Code++ createsa new state-of-the-art on 9 of 13 text summarization tasks across 5 languages. Our model is parameter-efficient in that it outperforms the 600x larger PaLM540B on XSum, and the finetuned 200x larger GPT3175B on SAMSum. In zero-shot and few-shot settings, our model substantially outperforms the competing models.
Cross-lingual Summarization (CLS) aims at producing a summary in the target language for an article in the source language. Traditional solutions employ a two-step approach, i.e. translate -> summarize or summarize -> translate. Recently, end-to-end models have achieved better results, but these approaches are mostly limited by their dependence on large-scale labeled data. We propose a solution based on mixed-lingual pre-training that leverages both cross-lingual tasks such as translation and monolingual tasks like masked language models. Thus, our model can leverage the massive monolingual data to enhance its modeling of language. Moreover, the architecture has no task-specific components, which saves memory and increases optimization efficiency. We show in experiments that this pre-training scheme can effectively boost the performance of cross-lingual summarization. In NCLS dataset, our model achieves an improvement of 2.82 (English to Chinese) and 1.15 (Chinese to English) ROUGE-1 scores over state-of-the-art results.
Span extraction is an essential problem in machine reading comprehension. Most of the existing algorithms predict the start and end positions of an answer span in the given corresponding context by generating two probability vectors. In this paper, we propose a novel approach that extends the probability vector to a probability matrix. Such a matrix can cover more start-end position pairs. Precisely, to each possible start index, the method always generates an end probability vector. Besides, we propose a sampling-based training strategy to address the computational cost and memory issue in the matrix training phase. We evaluate our method on SQuAD 1.1 and three other question answering benchmarks. Leveraging the most competitive models BERT and BiDAF as the backbone, our proposed approach can get consistent improvements in all datasets, demonstrating the effectiveness of the proposed method.