Zhong Zhang


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Fine-tuning Happens in Tiny Subspaces: Exploring Intrinsic Task-specific Subspaces of Pre-trained Language Models
Zhong Zhang | Bang Liu | Junming Shao
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Pre-trained language models (PLMs) are known to be overly parameterized and have significant redundancy, indicating a small degree of freedom of the PLMs. Motivated by the observation, in this paper, we study the problem of re-parameterizing and fine-tuning PLMs from a new perspective: Discovery of intrinsic task-specific subspace. Specifically, by exploiting the dynamics of the fine-tuning process for a given task, the parameter optimization trajectory is learned to uncover its intrinsic task-specific subspace. A key finding is that PLMs can be effectively fine-tuned in the subspace with a small number of free parameters. Beyond, we observe some outlier dimensions emerging during fine-tuning in the subspace. Disabling these dimensions degrades the model performance significantly. This suggests that these dimensions are crucial to induce task-specific knowledge to downstream tasks.


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Revisiting Representation Degeneration Problem in Language Modeling
Zhong Zhang | Chongming Gao | Cong Xu | Rui Miao | Qinli Yang | Junming Shao
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Weight tying is now a common setting in many language generation tasks such as language modeling and machine translation. However, a recent study reveals that there is a potential flaw in weight tying. They find that the learned word embeddings are likely to degenerate and lie in a narrow cone when training a language model. They call it the representation degeneration problem and propose a cosine regularization to solve it. Nevertheless, we prove that the cosine regularization is insufficient to solve the problem, as the degeneration is still likely to happen under certain conditions. In this paper, we revisit the representation degeneration problem and theoretically analyze the limitations of the previously proposed solution. Afterward, we propose an alternative regularization method called Laplacian regularization to tackle the problem. Experiments on language modeling demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed Laplacian regularization.