Dan Malkin


A Balanced Data Approach for Evaluating Cross-Lingual Transfer: Mapping the Linguistic Blood Bank
Dan Malkin | Tomasz Limisiewicz | Gabriel Stanovsky
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

We show that the choice of pretraining languages affects downstream cross-lingual transfer for BERT-based models. We inspect zero-shot performance in balanced data conditions to mitigate data size confounds, classifying pretraining languages that improve downstream performance as donors, and languages that are improved in zero-shot performance as recipients. We develop a method of quadratic time complexity in the number of languages to estimate these relations, instead of an exponential exhaustive computation of all possible combinations. We find that our method is effective on a diverse set of languages spanning different linguistic features and two downstream tasks.Our findings can inform developers of large-scale multilingual language models in choosing better pretraining configurations.