Andreas Rücklé


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Proceedings of The Third Workshop on Simple and Efficient Natural Language Processing (SustaiNLP)
Angela Fan | Iryna Gurevych | Yufang Hou | Zornitsa Kozareva | Sasha Luccioni | Nafise Sadat Moosavi | Sujith Ravi | Gyuwan Kim | Roy Schwartz | Andreas Rücklé
Proceedings of The Third Workshop on Simple and Efficient Natural Language Processing (SustaiNLP)


AdapterDrop: On the Efficiency of Adapters in Transformers
Andreas Rücklé | Gregor Geigle | Max Glockner | Tilman Beck | Jonas Pfeiffer | Nils Reimers | Iryna Gurevych
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Transformer models are expensive to fine-tune, slow for inference, and have large storage requirements. Recent approaches tackle these shortcomings by training smaller models, dynamically reducing the model size, and by training light-weight adapters. In this paper, we propose AdapterDrop, removing adapters from lower transformer layers during training and inference, which incorporates concepts from all three directions. We show that AdapterDrop can dynamically reduce the computational overhead when performing inference over multiple tasks simultaneously, with minimal decrease in task performances. We further prune adapters from AdapterFusion, which improves the inference efficiency while maintaining the task performances entirely.

What to Pre-Train on? Efficient Intermediate Task Selection
Clifton Poth | Jonas Pfeiffer | Andreas Rücklé | Iryna Gurevych
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Intermediate task fine-tuning has been shown to culminate in large transfer gains across many NLP tasks. With an abundance of candidate datasets as well as pre-trained language models, it has become infeasible to experiment with all combinations to find the best transfer setting. In this work, we provide a comprehensive comparison of different methods for efficiently identifying beneficial tasks for intermediate transfer learning. We focus on parameter and computationally efficient adapter settings, highlight different data-availability scenarios, and provide expense estimates for each method. We experiment with a diverse set of 42 intermediate and 11 target English classification, multiple choice, question answering, and sequence tagging tasks. Our results demonstrate that efficient embedding based methods, which rely solely on the respective datasets, outperform computational expensive few-shot fine-tuning approaches. Our best methods achieve an average Regret@3 of 1% across all target tasks, demonstrating that we are able to efficiently identify the best datasets for intermediate training.

AdapterFusion: Non-Destructive Task Composition for Transfer Learning
Jonas Pfeiffer | Aishwarya Kamath | Andreas Rücklé | Kyunghyun Cho | Iryna Gurevych
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Main Volume

Sequential fine-tuning and multi-task learning are methods aiming to incorporate knowledge from multiple tasks; however, they suffer from catastrophic forgetting and difficulties in dataset balancing. To address these shortcomings, we propose AdapterFusion, a new two stage learning algorithm that leverages knowledge from multiple tasks. First, in the knowledge extraction stage we learn task specific parameters called adapters, that encapsulate the task-specific information. We then combine the adapters in a separate knowledge composition step. We show that by separating the two stages, i.e., knowledge extraction and knowledge composition, the classifier can effectively exploit the representations learned from multiple tasks in a non-destructive manner. We empirically evaluate AdapterFusion on 16 diverse NLU tasks, and find that it effectively combines various types of knowledge at different layers of the model. We show that our approach outperforms traditional strategies such as full fine-tuning as well as multi-task learning. Our code and adapters are available at


Improving QA Generalization by Concurrent Modeling of Multiple Biases
Mingzhu Wu | Nafise Sadat Moosavi | Andreas Rücklé | Iryna Gurevych
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Existing NLP datasets contain various biases that models can easily exploit to achieve high performances on the corresponding evaluation sets. However, focusing on dataset-specific biases limits their ability to learn more generalizable knowledge about the task from more general data patterns. In this paper, we investigate the impact of debiasing methods for improving generalization and propose a general framework for improving the performance on both in-domain and out-of-domain datasets by concurrent modeling of multiple biases in the training data. Our framework weights each example based on the biases it contains and the strength of those biases in the training data. It then uses these weights in the training objective so that the model relies less on examples with high bias weights. We extensively evaluate our framework on extractive question answering with training data from various domains with multiple biases of different strengths. We perform the evaluations in two different settings, in which the model is trained on a single domain or multiple domains simultaneously, and show its effectiveness in both settings compared to state-of-the-art debiasing methods.

MultiCQA: Zero-Shot Transfer of Self-Supervised Text Matching Models on a Massive Scale
Andreas Rücklé | Jonas Pfeiffer | Iryna Gurevych
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

We study the zero-shot transfer capabilities of text matching models on a massive scale, by self-supervised training on 140 source domains from community question answering forums in English. We investigate the model performances on nine benchmarks of answer selection and question similarity tasks, and show that all 140 models transfer surprisingly well, where the large majority of models substantially outperforms common IR baselines. We also demonstrate that considering a broad selection of source domains is crucial for obtaining the best zero-shot transfer performances, which contrasts the standard procedure that merely relies on the largest and most similar domains. In addition, we extensively study how to best combine multiple source domains. We propose to incorporate self-supervised with supervised multi-task learning on all available source domains. Our best zero-shot transfer model considerably outperforms in-domain BERT and the previous state of the art on six benchmarks. Fine-tuning of our model with in-domain data results in additional large gains and achieves the new state of the art on all nine benchmarks.

AdapterHub: A Framework for Adapting Transformers
Jonas Pfeiffer | Andreas Rücklé | Clifton Poth | Aishwarya Kamath | Ivan Vulić | Sebastian Ruder | Kyunghyun Cho | Iryna Gurevych
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

The current modus operandi in NLP involves downloading and fine-tuning pre-trained models consisting of millions or billions of parameters. Storing and sharing such large trained models is expensive, slow, and time-consuming, which impedes progress towards more general and versatile NLP methods that learn from and for many tasks. Adapters—small learnt bottleneck layers inserted within each layer of a pre-trained model— ameliorate this issue by avoiding full fine-tuning of the entire model. However, sharing and integrating adapter layers is not straightforward. We propose AdapterHub, a framework that allows dynamic “stiching-in” of pre-trained adapters for different tasks and languages. The framework, built on top of the popular HuggingFace Transformers library, enables extremely easy and quick adaptations of state-of-the-art pre-trained models (e.g., BERT, RoBERTa, XLM-R) across tasks and languages. Downloading, sharing, and training adapters is as seamless as possible using minimal changes to the training scripts and a specialized infrastructure. Our framework enables scalable and easy access to sharing of task-specific models, particularly in low-resource scenarios. AdapterHub includes all recent adapter architectures and can be found at


Text Processing Like Humans Do: Visually Attacking and Shielding NLP Systems
Steffen Eger | Gözde Gül Şahin | Andreas Rücklé | Ji-Ung Lee | Claudia Schulz | Mohsen Mesgar | Krishnkant Swarnkar | Edwin Simpson | Iryna Gurevych
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)

Visual modifications to text are often used to obfuscate offensive comments in social media (e.g., “!d10t”) or as a writing style (“1337” in “leet speak”), among other scenarios. We consider this as a new type of adversarial attack in NLP, a setting to which humans are very robust, as our experiments with both simple and more difficult visual perturbations demonstrate. We investigate the impact of visual adversarial attacks on current NLP systems on character-, word-, and sentence-level tasks, showing that both neural and non-neural models are, in contrast to humans, extremely sensitive to such attacks, suffering performance decreases of up to 82%. We then explore three shielding methods—visual character embeddings, adversarial training, and rule-based recovery—which substantially improve the robustness of the models. However, the shielding methods still fall behind performances achieved in non-attack scenarios, which demonstrates the difficulty of dealing with visual attacks.

Pitfalls in the Evaluation of Sentence Embeddings
Steffen Eger | Andreas Rücklé | Iryna Gurevych
Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on Representation Learning for NLP (RepL4NLP-2019)

Deep learning models continuously break new records across different NLP tasks. At the same time, their success exposes weaknesses of model evaluation. Here, we compile several key pitfalls of evaluation of sentence embeddings, a currently very popular NLP paradigm. These pitfalls include the comparison of embeddings of different sizes, normalization of embeddings, and the low (and diverging) correlations between transfer and probing tasks. Our motivation is to challenge the current evaluation of sentence embeddings and to provide an easy-to-access reference for future research. Based on our insights, we also recommend better practices for better future evaluations of sentence embeddings.

Neural Duplicate Question Detection without Labeled Training Data
Andreas Rücklé | Nafise Sadat Moosavi | Iryna Gurevych
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Supervised training of neural models to duplicate question detection in community Question Answering (CQA) requires large amounts of labeled question pairs, which can be costly to obtain. To minimize this cost, recent works thus often used alternative methods, e.g., adversarial domain adaptation. In this work, we propose two novel methods—weak supervision using the title and body of a question, and the automatic generation of duplicate questions—and show that both can achieve improved performances even though they do not require any labeled data. We provide a comparison of popular training strategies and show that our proposed approaches are more effective in many cases because they can utilize larger amounts of data from the CQA forums. Finally, we show that weak supervision with question title and body information is also an effective method to train CQA answer selection models without direct answer supervision.


PD3: Better Low-Resource Cross-Lingual Transfer By Combining Direct Transfer and Annotation Projection
Steffen Eger | Andreas Rücklé | Iryna Gurevych
Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Argument Mining

We consider unsupervised cross-lingual transfer on two tasks, viz., sentence-level argumentation mining and standard POS tagging. We combine direct transfer using bilingual embeddings with annotation projection, which projects labels across unlabeled parallel data. We do so by either merging respective source and target language datasets or alternatively by using multi-task learning. Our combination strategy considerably improves upon both direct transfer and projection with few available parallel sentences, the most realistic scenario for many low-resource target languages.


LSDSem 2017: Exploring Data Generation Methods for the Story Cloze Test
Michael Bugert | Yevgeniy Puzikov | Andreas Rücklé | Judith Eckle-Kohler | Teresa Martin | Eugenio Martínez-Cámara | Daniil Sorokin | Maxime Peyrard | Iryna Gurevych
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Linking Models of Lexical, Sentential and Discourse-level Semantics

The Story Cloze test is a recent effort in providing a common test scenario for text understanding systems. As part of the LSDSem 2017 shared task, we present a system based on a deep learning architecture combined with a rich set of manually-crafted linguistic features. The system outperforms all known baselines for the task, suggesting that the chosen approach is promising. We additionally present two methods for generating further training data based on stories from the ROCStories corpus.

Representation Learning for Answer Selection with LSTM-Based Importance Weighting
Andreas Rücklé | Iryna Gurevych
IWCS 2017 — 12th International Conference on Computational Semantics — Short papers

End-to-End Non-Factoid Question Answering with an Interactive Visualization of Neural Attention Weights
Andreas Rücklé | Iryna Gurevych
Proceedings of ACL 2017, System Demonstrations

Real-Time News Summarization with Adaptation to Media Attention
Andreas Rücklé | Iryna Gurevych
Proceedings of the International Conference Recent Advances in Natural Language Processing, RANLP 2017

Real-time summarization of news events (RTS) allows persons to stay up-to-date on important topics that develop over time. With the occurrence of major sub-events, media attention increases and a large number of news articles are published. We propose a summarization approach that detects such changes and selects a suitable summarization configuration at run-time. In particular, at times with high media attention, our approach exploits the redundancy in content to produce a more precise summary and avoid emitting redundant information. We find that our approach significantly outperforms a strong non-adaptive RTS baseline in terms of the emitted summary updates and achieves the best results on a recent web-scale dataset. It can successfully be applied to a different real-world dataset without requiring additional modifications.