Learning to Win Lottery Tickets in BERT Transfer via Task-agnostic Mask TrainingDownload PDF


08 Mar 2022 (modified: 05 May 2023)NAACL 2022 Conference Blind SubmissionReaders: Everyone
Paper Link: https://openreview.net/forum?id=D2mnbjkpk1-
Paper Type: Long paper (up to eight pages of content + unlimited references and appendices)
Abstract: Recent studies on the lottery ticket hypothesis (LTH) show that pre-trained language models (PLMs) like BERT contain matching subnetworks that have similar transfer learning performance as the original PLM. These subnetworks are found using magnitude-based pruning. In this paper, we find that the BERT subnetworks have even more potential than these studies have shown. Firstly, we discover that the success of magnitude pruning can be attributed to the preserved pre-training performance, which correlates with the downstream transferability. Inspired by this, we propose to directly optimize the subnetwork structure towards the pre-training objectives, which can better preserve the pre-training performance. Specifically, we train binary masks over model weights on the pre-training tasks, with the aim of preserving the universal transferability of the subnetwork, which is agnostic to any specific downstream tasks. We then fine-tune the subnetworks on the GLUE benchmark and the SQuAD dataset. The results show that, compared with magnitude pruning, mask training can effectively find BERT subnetworks with improved overall performance on downstream tasks. Moreover, our method is also more efficient in searching subnetworks and more advantageous when fine-tuning within a certain range of data scarcity. Our code is available at https://github.com/llyx97/TAMT.
Copyright Consent Signature (type Name Or NA If Not Transferrable): Yuanxin Liu
Copyright Consent Name And Address: Institute of Information Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
Presentation Mode: This paper will be presented virtually
Virtual Presentation Timezone: UTC+8
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