Bo Du


Improving Sharpness-Aware Minimization with Fisher Mask for Better Generalization on Language Models
Qihuang Zhong | Liang Ding | Li Shen | Peng Mi | Juhua Liu | Bo Du | Dacheng Tao
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Fine-tuning large pretrained language models on a limited training corpus usually suffers from poor generalization. Prior works show that the recently-proposed sharpness-aware minimization (SAM) optimization method can improve the model generalization. However, SAM adds a perturbation to each model parameter equally (but not all parameters contribute equally to the optimization of training), which we argue is sub-optimal and will lead to excessive computation. In this paper, we propose a novel optimization procedure, namely FSAM, which introduces a Fisher mask to improve the efficiency and performance of SAM. In short, instead of adding perturbation to all parameters, FSAM uses the Fisher information to identity the important parameters and formulates a Fisher mask to obtain the sparse perturbation, i.e., making the optimizer focus on these important parameters. Experiments on various tasks in GLUE and SuperGLUE benchmarks show that FSAM consistently outperforms the vanilla SAM by 0.67 1.98 average score among four different pretrained models. We also empirically show that FSAM works well in other complex scenarios, e.g., fine-tuning on generation tasks or limited training data. Encouragingly, when training data is limited, FSAM improves the SAM by a large margin, i.e., up to 15.1.


Tchebycheff Procedure for Multi-task Text Classification
Yuren Mao | Shuang Yun | Weiwei Liu | Bo Du
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Multi-task Learning methods have achieved great progress in text classification. However, existing methods assume that multi-task text classification problems are convex multiobjective optimization problems, which is unrealistic in real-world applications. To address this issue, this paper presents a novel Tchebycheff procedure to optimize the multi-task classification problems without convex assumption. The extensive experiments back up our theoretical analysis and validate the superiority of our proposals.