An Embarrassingly Simple Method to Mitigate Undesirable Properties of Pretrained Language Model Tokenizers

We introduce FLOTA (Few Longest Token Approximation), a simple yet effective method to improve the tokenization of pretrained language models (PLMs). FLOTA uses the vocabulary of a standard tokenizer but tries to preserve the morphological structure of words during tokenization. We evaluate FLOTA on morphological gold segmentations as well as a text classification task, using BERT, GPT-2, and XLNet as example PLMs. FLOTA leads to performance gains, makes inference more efficient, and enhances the robustness of PLMs with respect to whitespace noise.

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