InfoBERT: Improving Robustness of Language Models from An Information Theoretic PerspectiveDownload PDF

Sep 28, 2020 (edited Mar 19, 2021)ICLR 2021 PosterReaders: Everyone
  • Keywords: adversarial robustness, information theory, BERT, adversarial training, NLI, QA
  • Abstract: Large-scale language models such as BERT have achieved state-of-the-art performance across a wide range of NLP tasks. Recent studies, however, show that such BERT-based models are vulnerable facing the threats of textual adversarial attacks. We aim to address this problem from an information-theoretic perspective, and propose InfoBERT, a novel learning framework for robust fine-tuning of pre-trained language models. InfoBERT contains two mutual-information-based regularizers for model training: (i) an Information Bottleneck regularizer, which suppresses noisy mutual information between the input and the feature representation; and (ii) a Robust Feature regularizer, which increases the mutual information between local robust features and global features. We provide a principled way to theoretically analyze and improve the robustness of representation learning for language models in both standard and adversarial training. Extensive experiments demonstrate that InfoBERT achieves state-of-the-art robust accuracy over several adversarial datasets on Natural Language Inference (NLI) and Question Answering (QA) tasks. Our code is available at https://github.com/AI-secure/InfoBERT.
  • One-sentence Summary: We propose a novel learning framework, InfoBERT, for robust fine-tuning of pre-trained language models from an information-theoretic perspective, and achieve state-of-the-art robust accuracy over several adversarial datasets on NLI and QA tasks.
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