Nhut Truong


Algorithmic Diversity and Tiny Models: Comparing Binary Networks and the Fruit Fly Algorithm on Document Representation Tasks
Tanise Ceron | Nhut Truong | Aurelie Herbelot
Proceedings of The Third Workshop on Simple and Efficient Natural Language Processing (SustaiNLP)

Neural language models have seen a dramatic increase in size in the last years. While many still advocate that ‘bigger is better’, work in model distillation has shown that the number of parameters used by very large networks is actually more than what is required for state-of-the-art performance. This prompts an obvious question: can we build smaller models from scratch, rather than going through the inefficient process of training at scale and subsequently reducing model size. In this paper, we investigate the behaviour of a biologically inspired algorithm, based on the fruit fly’s olfactory system. This algorithm has shown good performance in the past on the task of learning word embeddings. We now put it to the test on the task of semantic hashing. Specifically, we compare the fruit fly to a standard binary network on the task of generating locality-sensitive hashes for text documents, measuring both task performance and energy consumption. Our results indicate that the two algorithms have complementary strengths while showing similar electricity usage.