Mehdi Rezagholizadeh


2022

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Revisiting Pre-trained Language Models and their Evaluation for Arabic Natural Language Processing
Abbas Ghaddar | Yimeng Wu | Sunyam Bagga | Ahmad Rashid | Khalil Bibi | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh | Chao Xing | Yasheng Wang | Xinyu Duan | Zhefeng Wang | Baoxing Huai | Xin Jiang | Qun Liu | Phillippe Langlais
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

There is a growing body of work in recent years to develop pre-trained language models (PLMs) for the Arabic language. This work addresses two major problems in existing Arabic PLMs that limit the progress of the Arabic NLU and NLG fields. First, existing Arabic PLMs are not well-explored and their pre-training can be improved significantly using a more methodical approach. Second, there is a lack of systematic and reproducible evaluation of these models in the literature. We revisit both the pre-training and evaluation of Arabic PLMs. In terms of pre-training, we explore the impact of the quality of the pretraining data, the size of the model, and the incorporation of character-level information on Arabic PLM. As a result, we release three new Arabic BERT-style models ( JABER, Char-JABER, and SABER), and two T5-style models (AT5S and AT5B). In terms of evaluation, we conduct a comprehensive empirical study to systematically evaluate the performance of existing state-of-the-art models on ALUE, a leaderboard-powered benchmark for Arabic NLU tasks, and on a subset of the Arabic generative tasks. We show that our models significantly outperform existing Arabic PLMs and achieve a new state-of-the-art performance on discriminative and generative Arabic NLU and NLG tasks. Our models and source code to reproduce results will be made available upon acceptance.

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Kronecker Decomposition for GPT Compression
Ali Edalati | Marzieh Tahaei | Ahmad Rashid | Vahid Nia | James Clark | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

GPT is an auto-regressive Transformer-based pre-trained language model which has attracted a lot of attention in the natural language processing (NLP) domain. The success of GPT is mostly attributed to its pre-training on huge amount of data and its large number of parameters. Despite the superior performance of GPT, this overparameterized nature of GPT can be very prohibitive for deploying this model on devices with limited computational power or memory. This problem can be mitigated using model compression techniques; however, compressing GPT models has not been investigated much in the literature. In this work, we use Kronecker decomposition to compress the linear mappings of the GPT-2 model. Our Kronecker GPT-2 model (KnGPT2) is initialized based on the Kronecker decomposed version of the GPT-2 model and then is undergone a very light pre- training on only a small portion of the training data with intermediate layer knowledge distillation (ILKD). Finally, our KnGPT2 is fine-tuned on downstream tasks using ILKD as well. We evaluate our model on both language modeling and General Language Understanding Evaluation benchmark tasks and show that with more efficient pre-training and similar number of parameters, our KnGPT2 outperforms the existing DistilGPT2 model significantly.

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CILDA: Contrastive Data Augmentation Using Intermediate Layer Knowledge Distillation
Md Akmal Haidar | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh | Abbas Ghaddar | Khalil Bibi | Phillippe Langlais | Pascal Poupart
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Knowledge distillation (KD) is an efficient framework for compressing large-scale pre-trained language models. Recent years have seen a surge of research aiming to improve KD by leveraging Contrastive Learning, Intermediate Layer Distillation, Data Augmentation, and Adversarial Training. In this work, we propose a learning-based data augmentation technique tailored for knowledge distillation, called CILDA. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that intermediate layer representations of the main task are used in improving the quality of augmented samples. More precisely, we introduce an augmentation technique for KD based on intermediate layer matching using contrastive loss to improve masked adversarial data augmentation. CILDA outperforms existing state-of-the-art KD approaches on the GLUE benchmark, as well as in an out-of-domain evaluation.

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Pro-KD: Progressive Distillation by Following the Footsteps of the Teacher
Mehdi Rezagholizadeh | Aref Jafari | Puneeth S.M. Saladi | Pranav Sharma | Ali Saheb Pasand | Ali Ghodsi
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

With the ever growing scale of neural models, knowledge distillation (KD) attracts more attention as a prominent tool for neural model compression. However, there are counter intuitive observations in the literature showing some challenging limitations of KD. A case in point is that the best performing checkpoint of the teacher might not necessarily be the best teacher for training the student in KD. Therefore, one important question would be how to find the best checkpoint of the teacher for distillation? Searching through the checkpoints of the teacher would be a very tedious and computationally expensive process, which we refer to as the checkpoint-search problem. Moreover, another observation is that larger teachers might not necessarily be better teachers in KD, which is referred to as the capacity-gap problem. To address these challenging problems, in this work, we introduce our progressive knowledge distillation (Pro-KD) technique which defines a smoother training path for the student by following the training footprints of the teacher instead of solely relying on distilling from a single mature fully-trained teacher. We demonstrate that our technique is quite effective in mitigating the capacity-gap problem and the checkpoint search problem. We evaluate our technique using a comprehensive set of experiments on different tasks such as image classification (CIFAR-10 and CIFAR-100), natural language understanding tasks of the GLUE benchmark, and question answering (SQuAD 1.1 and 2.0) using BERT-based models and consistently got superior results over state-of-the-art techniques.

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Dynamic Position Encoding for Transformers
Joyce Zheng | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh | Peyman Passban
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Recurrent models have been dominating the field of neural machine translation (NMT) for the past few years. Transformers have radically changed it by proposing a novel architecture that relies on a feed-forward backbone and self-attention mechanism. Although Transformers are powerful, they could fail to properly encode sequential/positional information due to their non-recurrent nature. To solve this problem, position embeddings are defined exclusively for each time step to enrich word information. However, such embeddings are fixed after training regardless of the task and word ordering system of the source and target languages. In this paper, we address this shortcoming by proposing a novel architecture with new position embeddings that take the order of the target words into consideration. Instead of using predefined position embeddings, our solution generates new embeddings to refine each word’s position information. Since we do not dictate the position of the source tokens and we learn them in an end-to-end fashion, we refer to our method as dynamic position encoding (DPE). We evaluated the impact of our model on multiple datasets to translate from English to German, French, and Italian and observed meaningful improvements in comparison to the original Transformer.

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When Chosen Wisely, More Data Is What You Need: A Universal Sample-Efficient Strategy For Data Augmentation
Ehsan Kamalloo | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh | Ali Ghodsi
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Data Augmentation (DA) is known to improve the generalizability of deep neural networks. Most existing DA techniques naively add a certain number of augmented samples without considering the quality and the added computational cost of these samples. To tackle this problem, a common strategy, adopted by several state-of-the-art DA methods, is to adaptively generate or re-weight augmented samples with respect to the task objective during training. However, these adaptive DA methods: (1) are computationally expensive and not sample-efficient, and (2) are designed merely for a specific setting. In this work, we present a universal DA technique, called Glitter, to overcome both issues. Glitter can be plugged into any DA method, making training sample-efficient without sacrificing performance. From a pre-generated pool of augmented samples, Glitter adaptively selects a subset of worst-case samples with maximal loss, analogous to adversarial DA. Without altering the training strategy, the task objective can be optimized on the selected subset. Our thorough experiments on the GLUE benchmark, SQuAD, and HellaSwag in three widely used training setups including consistency training, self-distillation and knowledge distillation reveal that Glitter is substantially faster to train and achieves a competitive performance, compared to strong baselines.

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RAIL-KD: RAndom Intermediate Layer Mapping for Knowledge Distillation
Md Akmal Haidar | Nithin Anchuri | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh | Abbas Ghaddar | Philippe Langlais | Pascal Poupart
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2022

Intermediate layer knowledge distillation (KD) can improve the standard KD technique (which only targets the output of teacher and student models) especially over large pre-trained language models. However, intermediate layer distillation suffers from excessive computational burdens and engineering efforts required for setting up a proper layer mapping. To address these problems, we propose a RAndom Intermediate Layer Knowledge Distillation (RAIL-KD) approach in which, intermediate layers from the teacher model are selected randomly to be distilled into the intermediate layers of the student model. This randomized selection enforces that all teacher layers are taken into account in the training process, while reducing the computational cost of intermediate layer distillation. Also, we show that it acts as a regularizer for improving the generalizability of the student model. We perform extensive experiments on GLUE tasks as well as on out-of-domain test sets. We show that our proposed RAIL-KD approach outperforms other state-of-the-art intermediate layer KD methods considerably in both performance and training-time.

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Improving Generalization of Pre-trained Language Models via Stochastic Weight Averaging
Peng Lu | Ivan Kobyzev | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh | Ahmad Rashid | Ali Ghodsi | Phillippe Langlais
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Knowledge Distillation (KD) is a commonly used technique for improving the generalization of compact Pre-trained Language Models (PLMs) on downstream tasks. However, such methods impose the additional burden of training a separate teacher model for every new dataset.Alternatively, one may directly work on the improvement of the optimization procedure of the compact model towards better generalization. Recent works observe that the flatness of the local minimum correlates well with better generalization.In this work, we adapt Stochastic Weight Averaging (SWA), a method encouraging convergence to a flatter minimum, to fine-tuning PLMs. We conduct extensive experiments on various NLP tasks (text classification, question answering, and generation) and different model architectures and demonstrate that our adaptation improves the generalization without extra computation cost. Moreover, we observe that this simple optimization technique is able to outperform the state-of-the-art KD methods for compact models.

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Continuation KD: Improved Knowledge Distillation through the Lens of Continuation Optimization
Aref Jafari | Ivan Kobyzev | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh | Pascal Poupart | Ali Ghodsi
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Knowledge Distillation (KD) has been extensively used for natural language understanding (NLU) tasks to improve a small model’s (a student) generalization by transferring the knowledge from a larger model (a teacher). Although KD methods achieve state-of-the-art performance in numerous settings, they suffer from several problems limiting their performance. It is shown in the literature that the capacity gap between the teacher and the student networks can make KD ineffective. Additionally, existing KD techniques do not mitigate the noise in the teacher’s output: modeling the noisy behaviour of the teacher can distract the student from learning more useful features. We propose a new KD method that addresses these problems and facilitates the training compared to previous techniques. Inspired by continuation optimization, we design a training procedure that optimizes the highly non-convex KD objective by starting with the smoothed version of this objective and making it more complex as the training proceeds. Our method (Continuation-KD) achieves state-of-the-art performance across various compact architectures on NLU (GLUE benchmark) and computer vision tasks (CIFAR-10 and CIFAR-100).

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KroneckerBERT: Significant Compression of Pre-trained Language Models Through Kronecker Decomposition and Knowledge Distillation
Marzieh Tahaei | Ella Charlaix | Vahid Nia | Ali Ghodsi | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

The development of over-parameterized pre-trained language models has made a significant contribution toward the success of natural language processing. While over-parameterization of these models is the key to their generalization power, it makes them unsuitable for deployment on low-capacity devices. We push the limits of state-of-the-art Transformer-based pre-trained language model compression using Kronecker decomposition. We present our KroneckerBERT, a compressed version of the BERT_BASE model obtained by compressing the embedding layer and the linear mappings in the multi-head attention, and the feed-forward network modules in the Transformer layers. Our KroneckerBERT is trained via a very efficient two-stage knowledge distillation scheme using far fewer data samples than state-of-the-art models like MobileBERT and TinyBERT. We evaluate the performance of KroneckerBERT on well-known NLP benchmarks. We show that our KroneckerBERT with compression factors of 7.7x and 21x outperforms state-of-the-art compression methods on the GLUE and SQuAD benchmarks. In particular, using only 13% of the teacher model parameters, it retain more than 99% of the accuracy on the majority of GLUE tasks.

2021

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Annealing Knowledge Distillation
Aref Jafari | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh | Pranav Sharma | Ali Ghodsi
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Main Volume

Significant memory and computational requirements of large deep neural networks restricts their application on edge devices. Knowledge distillation (KD) is a prominent model compression technique for deep neural networks in which the knowledge of a trained large teacher model is transferred to a smaller student model. The success of knowledge distillation is mainly attributed to its training objective function, which exploits the soft-target information (also known as “dark knowledge”) besides the given regular hard labels in a training set. However, it is shown in the literature that the larger the gap between the teacher and the student networks, the more difficult is their training using knowledge distillation. To address this shortcoming, we propose an improved knowledge distillation method (called Annealing-KD) by feeding the rich information provided by teacher’s soft-targets incrementally and more efficiently. Our Annealing-KD technique is based on a gradual transition over annealed soft-targets generated by the teacher at different temperatures in an iterative process; and therefore, the student is trained to follow the annealed teacher output in a step-by-step manner. This paper includes theoretical and empirical evidence as well as practical experiments to support the effectiveness of our Annealing-KD method. We did a comprehensive set of experiments on different tasks such as image classification (CIFAR-10 and 100) and NLP language inference with BERT-based models on the GLUE benchmark and consistently got superior results.

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Knowledge Distillation with Noisy Labels for Natural Language Understanding
Shivendra Bhardwaj | Abbas Ghaddar | Ahmad Rashid | Khalil Bibi | Chengyang Li | Ali Ghodsi | Phillippe Langlais | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh
Proceedings of the Seventh Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text (W-NUT 2021)

Knowledge Distillation (KD) is extensively used to compress and deploy large pre-trained language models on edge devices for real-world applications. However, one neglected area of research is the impact of noisy (corrupted) labels on KD. We present, to the best of our knowledge, the first study on KD with noisy labels in Natural Language Understanding (NLU). We document the scope of the problem and present two methods to mitigate the impact of label noise. Experiments on the GLUE benchmark show that our methods are effective even under high noise levels. Nevertheless, our results indicate that more research is necessary to cope with label noise under the KD.

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Context-aware Adversarial Training for Name Regularity Bias in Named Entity Recognition
Abbas Ghaddar | Philippe Langlais | Ahmad Rashid | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 9

Abstract In this work, we examine the ability of NER models to use contextual information when predicting the type of an ambiguous entity. We introduce NRB, a new testbed carefully designed to diagnose Name Regularity Bias of NER models. Our results indicate that all state-of-the-art models we tested show such a bias; BERT fine-tuned models significantly outperforming feature-based (LSTM-CRF) ones on NRB, despite having comparable (sometimes lower) performance on standard benchmarks. To mitigate this bias, we propose a novel model-agnostic training method that adds learnable adversarial noise to some entity mentions, thus enforcing models to focus more strongly on the contextual signal, leading to significant gains on NRB. Combining it with two other training strategies, data augmentation and parameter freezing, leads to further gains.

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Towards Zero-Shot Knowledge Distillation for Natural Language Processing
Ahmad Rashid | Vasileios Lioutas | Abbas Ghaddar | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Knowledge distillation (KD) is a common knowledge transfer algorithm used for model compression across a variety of deep learning based natural language processing (NLP) solutions. In its regular manifestations, KD requires access to the teacher’s training data for knowledge transfer to the student network. However, privacy concerns, data regulations and proprietary reasons may prevent access to such data. We present, to the best of our knowledge, the first work on Zero-shot Knowledge Distillation for NLP, where the student learns from the much larger teacher without any task specific data. Our solution combines out-of-domain data and adversarial training to learn the teacher’s output distribution. We investigate six tasks from the GLUE benchmark and demonstrate that we can achieve between 75% and 92% of the teacher’s classification score (accuracy or F1) while compressing the model 30 times.

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Universal-KD: Attention-based Output-Grounded Intermediate Layer Knowledge Distillation
Yimeng Wu | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh | Abbas Ghaddar | Md Akmal Haidar | Ali Ghodsi
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Intermediate layer matching is shown as an effective approach for improving knowledge distillation (KD). However, this technique applies matching in the hidden spaces of two different networks (i.e. student and teacher), which lacks clear interpretability. Moreover, intermediate layer KD cannot easily deal with other problems such as layer mapping search and architecture mismatch (i.e. it requires the teacher and student to be of the same model type). To tackle the aforementioned problems all together, we propose Universal-KD to match intermediate layers of the teacher and the student in the output space (by adding pseudo classifiers on intermediate layers) via the attention-based layer projection. By doing this, our unified approach has three merits: (i) it can be flexibly combined with current intermediate layer distillation techniques to improve their results (ii) the pseudo classifiers of the teacher can be deployed instead of extra expensive teacher assistant networks to address the capacity gap problem in KD which is a common issue when the gap between the size of the teacher and student networks becomes too large; (iii) it can be used in cross-architecture intermediate layer KD. We did comprehensive experiments in distilling BERT-base into BERT-4, RoBERTa-large into DistilRoBERTa and BERT-base into CNN and LSTM-based models. Results on the GLUE tasks show that our approach is able to outperform other KD techniques.

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MATE-KD: Masked Adversarial TExt, a Companion to Knowledge Distillation
Ahmad Rashid | Vasileios Lioutas | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

The advent of large pre-trained language models has given rise to rapid progress in the field of Natural Language Processing (NLP). While the performance of these models on standard benchmarks has scaled with size, compression techniques such as knowledge distillation have been key in making them practical. We present MATE-KD, a novel text-based adversarial training algorithm which improves the performance of knowledge distillation. MATE-KD first trains a masked language model-based generator to perturb text by maximizing the divergence between teacher and student logits. Then using knowledge distillation a student is trained on both the original and the perturbed training samples. We evaluate our algorithm, using BERT-based models, on the GLUE benchmark and demonstrate that MATE-KD outperforms competitive adversarial learning and data augmentation baselines. On the GLUE test set our 6 layer RoBERTa based model outperforms BERT-large.

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End-to-End Self-Debiasing Framework for Robust NLU Training
Abbas Ghaddar | Phillippe Langlais | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh | Ahmad Rashid
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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Not Far Away, Not So Close: Sample Efficient Nearest Neighbour Data Augmentation via MiniMax
Ehsan Kamalloo | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh | Peyman Passban | Ali Ghodsi
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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How to Select One Among All ? An Empirical Study Towards the Robustness of Knowledge Distillation in Natural Language Understanding
Tianda Li | Ahmad Rashid | Aref Jafari | Pranav Sharma | Ali Ghodsi | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Knowledge Distillation (KD) is a model compression algorithm that helps transfer the knowledge in a large neural network into a smaller one. Even though KD has shown promise on a wide range of Natural Language Processing (NLP) applications, little is understood about how one KD algorithm compares to another and whether these approaches can be complimentary to each other. In this work, we evaluate various KD algorithms on in-domain, out-of-domain and adversarial testing. We propose a framework to assess adversarial robustness of multiple KD algorithms. Moreover, we introduce a new KD algorithm, Combined-KD, which takes advantage of two promising approaches (better training scheme and more efficient data augmentation). Our extensive experimental results show that Combined-KD achieves state-of-the-art results on the GLUE benchmark, out-of-domain generalization, and adversarial robustness compared to competitive methods.

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RW-KD: Sample-wise Loss Terms Re-Weighting for Knowledge Distillation
Peng Lu | Abbas Ghaddar | Ahmad Rashid | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh | Ali Ghodsi | Philippe Langlais
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Knowledge Distillation (KD) is extensively used in Natural Language Processing to compress the pre-training and task-specific fine-tuning phases of large neural language models. A student model is trained to minimize a convex combination of the prediction loss over the labels and another over the teacher output. However, most existing works either fix the interpolating weight between the two losses apriori or vary the weight using heuristics. In this work, we propose a novel sample-wise loss weighting method, RW-KD. A meta-learner, simultaneously trained with the student, adaptively re-weights the two losses for each sample. We demonstrate, on 7 datasets of the GLUE benchmark, that RW-KD outperforms other loss re-weighting methods for KD.

2020

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Fully Quantized Transformer for Machine Translation
Gabriele Prato | Ella Charlaix | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

State-of-the-art neural machine translation methods employ massive amounts of parameters. Drastically reducing computational costs of such methods without affecting performance has been up to this point unsuccessful. To this end, we propose FullyQT: an all-inclusive quantization strategy for the Transformer. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to show that it is possible to avoid any loss in translation quality with a fully quantized Transformer. Indeed, compared to full-precision, our 8-bit models score greater or equal BLEU on most tasks. Comparing ourselves to all previously proposed methods, we achieve state-of-the-art quantization results.

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Improving Word Embedding Factorization for Compression Using Distilled Nonlinear Neural Decomposition
Vasileios Lioutas | Ahmad Rashid | Krtin Kumar | Md. Akmal Haidar | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Word-embeddings are vital components of Natural Language Processing (NLP) models and have been extensively explored. However, they consume a lot of memory which poses a challenge for edge deployment. Embedding matrices, typically, contain most of the parameters for language models and about a third for machine translation systems. In this paper, we propose Distilled Embedding, an (input/output) embedding compression method based on low-rank matrix decomposition and knowledge distillation. First, we initialize the weights of our decomposed matrices by learning to reconstruct the full pre-trained word-embedding and then fine-tune end-to-end, employing knowledge distillation on the factorized embedding. We conduct extensive experiments with various compression rates on machine translation and language modeling, using different data-sets with a shared word-embedding matrix for both embedding and vocabulary projection matrices. We show that the proposed technique is simple to replicate, with one fixed parameter controlling compression size, has higher BLEU score on translation and lower perplexity on language modeling compared to complex, difficult to tune state-of-the-art methods.

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Why Skip If You Can Combine: A Simple Knowledge Distillation Technique for Intermediate Layers
Yimeng Wu | Peyman Passban | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh | Qun Liu
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

With the growth of computing power neural machine translation (NMT) models also grow accordingly and become better. However, they also become harder to deploy on edge devices due to memory constraints. To cope with this problem, a common practice is to distill knowledge from a large and accurately-trained teacher network (T) into a compact student network (S). Although knowledge distillation (KD) is useful in most cases, our study shows that existing KD techniques might not be suitable enough for deep NMT engines, so we propose a novel alternative. In our model, besides matching T and S predictions we have a combinatorial mechanism to inject layer-level supervision from T to S. In this paper, we target low-resource settings and evaluate our translation engines for Portuguese→English, Turkish→English, and English→German directions. Students trained using our technique have 50% fewer parameters and can still deliver comparable results to those of 12-layer teachers.

2019

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EditNTS: An Neural Programmer-Interpreter Model for Sentence Simplification through Explicit Editing
Yue Dong | Zichao Li | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh | Jackie Chi Kit Cheung
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

We present the first sentence simplification model that learns explicit edit operations (ADD, DELETE, and KEEP) via a neural programmer-interpreter approach. Most current neural sentence simplification systems are variants of sequence-to-sequence models adopted from machine translation. These methods learn to simplify sentences as a byproduct of the fact that they are trained on complex-simple sentence pairs. By contrast, our neural programmer-interpreter is directly trained to predict explicit edit operations on targeted parts of the input sentence, resembling the way that humans perform simplification and revision. Our model outperforms previous state-of-the-art neural sentence simplification models (without external knowledge) by large margins on three benchmark text simplification corpora in terms of SARI (+0.95 WikiLarge, +1.89 WikiSmall, +1.41 Newsela), and is judged by humans to produce overall better and simpler output sentences.

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Bilingual-GAN: A Step Towards Parallel Text Generation
Ahmad Rashid | Alan Do-Omri | Md. Akmal Haidar | Qun Liu | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh
Proceedings of the Workshop on Methods for Optimizing and Evaluating Neural Language Generation

Latent space based GAN methods and attention based sequence to sequence models have achieved impressive results in text generation and unsupervised machine translation respectively. Leveraging the two domains, we propose an adversarial latent space based model capable of generating parallel sentences in two languages concurrently and translating bidirectionally. The bilingual generation goal is achieved by sampling from the latent space that is shared between both languages. First two denoising autoencoders are trained, with shared encoders and back-translation to enforce a shared latent state between the two languages. The decoder is shared for the two translation directions. Next, a GAN is trained to generate synthetic ‘code’ mimicking the languages’ shared latent space. This code is then fed into the decoder to generate text in either language. We perform our experiments on Europarl and Multi30k datasets, on the English-French language pair, and document our performance using both supervised and unsupervised machine translation.

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Latent Code and Text-based Generative Adversarial Networks for Soft-text Generation
Md. Akmal Haidar | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh | Alan Do Omri | Ahmad Rashid
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

Text generation with generative adversarial networks (GANs) can be divided into the text-based and code-based categories according to the type of signals used for discrimination. In this work, we introduce a novel text-based approach called Soft-GAN to effectively exploit GAN setup for text generation. We demonstrate how autoencoders (AEs) can be used for providing a continuous representation of sentences, which we will refer to as soft-text. This soft representation will be used in GAN discrimination to synthesize similar soft-texts. We also propose hybrid latent code and text-based GAN (LATEXT-GAN) approaches with one or more discriminators, in which a combination of the latent code and the soft-text is used for GAN discriminations. We perform a number of subjective and objective experiments on two well-known datasets (SNLI and Image COCO) to validate our techniques. We discuss the results using several evaluation metrics and show that the proposed techniques outperform the traditional GAN-based text-generation methods.