Recently, large-scale transformer-based models have been proven to be effective over various tasks across many domains. Nevertheless, applying them in industrial production requires tedious and heavy works to reduce inference costs. To fill such a gap, we introduce a scalable inference solution: Easy and Efficient Transformer (EET), including a series of transformer inference optimization at the algorithm and implementation levels. First, we design highly optimized kernels for long inputs and large hidden sizes. Second, we propose a flexible CUDA memory manager to reduce the memory footprint when deploying a large model. Compared with the state-of-the-art transformer inference library (Faster Transformer v4.0), EET can achieve an average of 1.40-4.20x speedup on the transformer decoder layer with an A100 GPU.
Since 2017, the Transformer-based models play critical roles in various downstream Natural Language Processing tasks. However, a common limitation of the attention mechanism utilized in Transformer Encoder is that it cannot automatically capture the information of word order, so explicit position embeddings are generally required to be fed into the target model. In contrast, Transformer Decoder with the causal attention masks is naturally sensitive to the word order. In this work, we focus on improving the position encoding ability of BERT with the causal attention masks. Furthermore, we propose a new pre-trained language model DecBERT and evaluate it on the GLUE benchmark. Experimental results show that (1) the causal attention mask is effective for BERT on the language understanding tasks; (2) our DecBERT model without position embeddings achieve comparable performance on the GLUE benchmark; and (3) our modification accelerates the pre-training process and DecBERT w/ PE achieves better overall performance than the baseline systems when pre-training with the same amount of computational resources.
Image-text retrieval is a fundamental cross-modal task that takes image/text as a query to retrieve relevant data of another type. The large-scale two-stream pre-trained models like CLIP have achieved tremendous success in this area. They embed the images and texts into instance representations with two separate encoders, aligning them on the instance-level with contrastive learning. Beyond this, the following works adopt the fine-grained token-level interaction (Masked Language and Image Modeling) to boost performance further. However, the vanilla token-level objectives are not designed to aggregate the image-text alignment information into the instance representations, but the token representations, causing a gap between pre-training and application. To address this issue, we carefully design two novel conditioned token-level pre-training objectives, Conditioned Masked Language and Image Modeling (ConMLM and ConMIM), forcing models to aggregate the token-level alignment information into the instance representations. Combing with the instance-level contrastive learning, we propose our cross-modal dense retrieval framework, Conditioned Language-Image Pre-training (ConLIP). Experimental results on two popular cross-modal retrieval benchmarks (MSCOCO and Flickr30k) reveal the effectiveness of our methods.
Existing fake news detection methods aim to classify a piece of news as true or false and provide veracity explanations, achieving remarkable performances. However, they often tailor automated solutions on manual fact-checked reports, suffering from limited news coverage and debunking delays. When a piece of news has not yet been fact-checked or debunked, certain amounts of relevant raw reports are usually disseminated on various media outlets, containing the wisdom of crowds to verify the news claim and explain its verdict. In this paper, we propose a novel Coarse-to-fine Cascaded Evidence-Distillation (CofCED) neural network for explainable fake news detection based on such raw reports, alleviating the dependency on fact-checked ones. Specifically, we first utilize a hierarchical encoder for web text representation, and then develop two cascaded selectors to select the most explainable sentences for verdicts on top of the selected top-K reports in a coarse-to-fine manner. Besides, we construct two explainable fake news datasets, which is publicly available. Experimental results demonstrate that our model significantly outperforms state-of-the-art detection baselines and generates high-quality explanations from diverse evaluation perspectives.
Gender bias in word embeddings gradually becomes a vivid research field in recent years. Most studies in this field aim at measurement and debiasing methods with English as the target language. This paper investigates gender bias in static word embeddings from a unique perspective, Chinese adjectives. By training word representations with different models, the gender bias behind the vectors of adjectives is assessed. Through a comparison between the produced results and a human scored data set, we demonstrate how gender bias encoded in word embeddings differentiates from people’s attitudes.
With the success of pre-trained language models in recent years, more and more researchers focus on opening the “black box” of these models. Following this interest, we carry out a qualitative and quantitative analysis of constituency grammar in attention heads of BERT and RoBERTa. We employ the syntactic distance method to extract implicit constituency grammar from the attention weights of each head. Our results show that there exist heads that can induce some grammar types much better than baselines, suggesting that some heads act as a proxy for constituency grammar. We also analyze how attention heads’ constituency grammar inducing (CGI) ability changes after fine-tuning with two kinds of tasks, including sentence meaning similarity (SMS) tasks and natural language inference (NLI) tasks. Our results suggest that SMS tasks decrease the average CGI ability of upper layers, while NLI tasks increase it. Lastly, we investigate the connections between CGI ability and natural language understanding ability on QQP and MNLI tasks.
In this work, we demonstrate that the contextualized word vectors derived from pretrained masked language model-based encoders share a common, perhaps undesirable pattern across layers. Namely, we find cases of persistent outlier neurons within BERT and RoBERTa’s hidden state vectors that consistently bear the smallest or largest values in said vectors. In an attempt to investigate the source of this information, we introduce a neuron-level analysis method, which reveals that the outliers are closely related to information captured by positional embeddings. We also pre-train the RoBERTa-base models from scratch and find that the outliers disappear without using positional embeddings. These outliers, we find, are the major cause of anisotropy of encoders’ raw vector spaces, and clipping them leads to increased similarity across vectors. We demonstrate this in practice by showing that clipped vectors can more accurately distinguish word senses, as well as lead to better sentence embeddings when mean pooling. In three supervised tasks, we find that clipping does not affect the performance.