Large pre-trained neural networks such as BERT have had great recent success in NLP, motivating a growing body of research investigating what aspects of language they are able to learn from unlabeled data. Most recent analysis has focused on model outputs (e.g., language model surprisal) or internal vector representations (e.g., probing classifiers). Complementary to these works, we propose methods for analyzing the attention mechanisms of pre-trained models and apply them to BERT. BERT's attention heads exhibit patterns such as attending to delimiter tokens, specific positional offsets, or broadly attending over the whole sentence, with heads in the same layer often exhibiting similar behaviors. We further show that certain attention heads correspond well to linguistic notions of syntax and coreference. For example, we find heads that attend to the direct objects of verbs, determiners of nouns, objects of prepositions, and coreferent mentions with remarkably high accuracy. Lastly, we propose an attention-based probing classifier and use it to further demonstrate that substantial syntactic information is captured in BERT's attention.

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BERT全称Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers,是预训练语言表示的方法,可以在大型文本语料库(如维基百科)上训练通用的“语言理解”模型,然后将该模型用于下游NLP任务,比如机器翻译、问答。

Transformer architectures show significant promise for natural language processing. Given that a single pretrained model can be fine-tuned to perform well on many different tasks, these networks appear to extract generally useful linguistic features. A natural question is how such networks represent this information internally. This paper describes qualitative and quantitative investigations of one particularly effective model, BERT. At a high level, linguistic features seem to be represented in separate semantic and syntactic subspaces. We find evidence of a fine-grained geometric representation of word senses. We also present empirical descriptions of syntactic representations in both attention matrices and individual word embeddings, as well as a mathematical argument to explain the geometry of these representations.

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Transformer based architectures have become de-facto models used for a range of Natural Language Processing tasks. In particular, the BERT based models achieved significant accuracy gain for GLUE tasks, CoNLL-03 and SQuAD. However, BERT based models have a prohibitive memory footprint and latency. As a result, deploying BERT based models in resource constrained environments has become a challenging task. In this work, we perform an extensive analysis of fine-tuned BERT models using second order Hessian information, and we use our results to propose a novel method for quantizing BERT models to ultra low precision. In particular, we propose a new group-wise quantization scheme, and we use a Hessian based mix-precision method to compress the model further. We extensively test our proposed method on BERT downstream tasks of SST-2, MNLI, CoNLL-03, and SQuAD. We can achieve comparable performance to baseline with at most $2.3\%$ performance degradation, even with ultra-low precision quantization down to 2 bits, corresponding up to $13\times$ compression of the model parameters, and up to $4\times$ compression of the embedding table as well as activations. Among all tasks, we observed the highest performance loss for BERT fine-tuned on SQuAD. By probing into the Hessian based analysis as well as visualization, we show that this is related to the fact that current training/fine-tuning strategy of BERT does not converge for SQuAD.

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BERT-based architectures currently give state-of-the-art performance on many NLP tasks, but little is known about the exact mechanisms that contribute to its success. In the current work, we focus on the interpretation of self-attention, which is one of the fundamental underlying components of BERT. Using a subset of GLUE tasks and a set of handcrafted features-of-interest, we propose the methodology and carry out a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the information encoded by the individual BERT's heads. Our findings suggest that there is a limited set of attention patterns that are repeated across different heads, indicating the overall model overparametrization. While different heads consistently use the same attention patterns, they have varying impact on performance across different tasks. We show that manually disabling attention in certain heads leads to a performance improvement over the regular fine-tuned BERT models.

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Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) reach state-of-the-art results in a variety of Natural Language Processing tasks. However, understanding of their internal functioning is still insufficient and unsatisfactory. In order to better understand BERT and other Transformer-based models, we present a layer-wise analysis of BERT's hidden states. Unlike previous research, which mainly focuses on explaining Transformer models by their attention weights, we argue that hidden states contain equally valuable information. Specifically, our analysis focuses on models fine-tuned on the task of Question Answering (QA) as an example of a complex downstream task. We inspect how QA models transform token vectors in order to find the correct answer. To this end, we apply a set of general and QA-specific probing tasks that reveal the information stored in each representation layer. Our qualitative analysis of hidden state visualizations provides additional insights into BERT's reasoning process. Our results show that the transformations within BERT go through phases that are related to traditional pipeline tasks. The system can therefore implicitly incorporate task-specific information into its token representations. Furthermore, our analysis reveals that fine-tuning has little impact on the models' semantic abilities and that prediction errors can be recognized in the vector representations of even early layers.

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The latest work on language representations carefully integrates contextualized features into language model training, which enables a series of success especially in various machine reading comprehension and natural language inference tasks. However, the existing language representation models including ELMo, GPT and BERT only exploit plain context-sensitive features such as character or word embeddings. They rarely consider incorporating structured semantic information which can provide rich semantics for language representation. To promote natural language understanding, we propose to incorporate explicit contextual semantics from pre-trained semantic role labeling, and introduce an improved language representation model, Semantics-aware BERT (SemBERT), which is capable of explicitly absorbing contextual semantics over a BERT backbone. SemBERT keeps the convenient usability of its BERT precursor in a light fine-tuning way without substantial task-specific modifications. Compared with BERT, semantics-aware BERT is as simple in concept but more powerful. It obtains new state-of-the-art or substantially improves results on ten reading comprehension and language inference tasks.

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We consider the problem of referring image segmentation. Given an input image and a natural language expression, the goal is to segment the object referred by the language expression in the image. Existing works in this area treat the language expression and the input image separately in their representations. They do not sufficiently capture long-range correlations between these two modalities. In this paper, we propose a cross-modal self-attention (CMSA) module that effectively captures the long-range dependencies between linguistic and visual features. Our model can adaptively focus on informative words in the referring expression and important regions in the input image. In addition, we propose a gated multi-level fusion module to selectively integrate self-attentive cross-modal features corresponding to different levels in the image. This module controls the information flow of features at different levels. We validate the proposed approach on four evaluation datasets. Our proposed approach consistently outperforms existing state-of-the-art methods.

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Intent classification and slot filling are two essential tasks for natural language understanding. They often suffer from small-scale human-labeled training data, resulting in poor generalization capability, especially for rare words. Recently a new language representation model, BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers), facilitates pre-training deep bidirectional representations on large-scale unlabeled corpora, and has created state-of-the-art models for a wide variety of natural language processing tasks after simple fine-tuning. However, there has not been much effort on exploring BERT for natural language understanding. In this work, we propose a joint intent classification and slot filling model based on BERT. Experimental results demonstrate that our proposed model achieves significant improvement on intent classification accuracy, slot filling F1, and sentence-level semantic frame accuracy on several public benchmark datasets, compared to the attention-based recurrent neural network models and slot-gated models.

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The field of natural language processing has seen impressive progress in recent years, with neural network models replacing many of the traditional systems. A plethora of new models have been proposed, many of which are thought to be opaque compared to their feature-rich counterparts. This has led researchers to analyze, interpret, and evaluate neural networks in novel and more fine-grained ways. In this survey paper, we review analysis methods in neural language processing, categorize them according to prominent research trends, highlight existing limitations, and point to potential directions for future work.

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We propose a novel data augmentation method for labeled sentences called conditional BERT contextual augmentation. Data augmentation methods are often applied to prevent overfitting and improve generalization of deep neural network models. Recently proposed contextual augmentation augments labeled sentences by randomly replacing words with more varied substitutions predicted by language model. BERT demonstrates that a deep bidirectional language model is more powerful than either an unidirectional language model or the shallow concatenation of a forward and backward model. We retrofit BERT to conditional BERT by introducing a new conditional masked language model\footnote{The term "conditional masked language model" appeared once in original BERT paper, which indicates context-conditional, is equivalent to term "masked language model". In our paper, "conditional masked language model" indicates we apply extra label-conditional constraint to the "masked language model".} task. The well trained conditional BERT can be applied to enhance contextual augmentation. Experiments on six various different text classification tasks show that our method can be easily applied to both convolutional or recurrent neural networks classifier to obtain obvious improvement.

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The dominant sequence transduction models are based on complex recurrent or convolutional neural networks in an encoder-decoder configuration. The best performing models also connect the encoder and decoder through an attention mechanism. We propose a new simple network architecture, the Transformer, based solely on attention mechanisms, dispensing with recurrence and convolutions entirely. Experiments on two machine translation tasks show these models to be superior in quality while being more parallelizable and requiring significantly less time to train. Our model achieves 28.4 BLEU on the WMT 2014 English-to-German translation task, improving over the existing best results, including ensembles by over 2 BLEU. On the WMT 2014 English-to-French translation task, our model establishes a new single-model state-of-the-art BLEU score of 41.8 after training for 3.5 days on eight GPUs, a small fraction of the training costs of the best models from the literature. We show that the Transformer generalizes well to other tasks by applying it successfully to English constituency parsing both with large and limited training data.

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