SMART: Robust and Efficient Fine-Tuning for Pre-trained Natural Language Models through Principled Regularized Optimization

ACL 2020

SMART: Robust and Efficient Fine-Tuning for Pre-trained Natural Language Models through Principled Regularized Optimization

Jul 05, 2020
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Transfer learning has fundamentally changed the landscape of natural language processing (NLP) research. Many existing state-of-the-art models are first pre-trained on a large text corpus and then fine-tuned on downstream tasks. However, due to limited data resources from downstream tasks and the extremely large capacity of pre-trained models, aggressive fine-tuning often causes the adapted model to overfit the data of downstream tasks and forget the knowledge of the pre-trained model. To address the above issue in a more principled manner, we propose a new computational framework for robust and efficient fine-tuning for pre-trained language models. Specifically, our proposed framework contains two important ingredients: 1. Smoothness-inducing regularization, which effectively manages the capacity of the model; 2. Bregman proximal point optimization, which is a class of trust-region methods and can prevent knowledge forgetting. Our experiments demonstrate that our proposed method achieves the state-of-the-art performance on multiple NLP benchmarks. Speakers: Haoming Jiang, Pengcheng He, Weizhu Chen, Xiaodong Liu, Jianfeng Gao, Tuo Zhao

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