Distinguishability Calibration to In-Context Learning

Recent years have witnessed increasing interests in prompt-based learning in which models can be trained on only a few annotated instances, making them suitable in low-resource settings. When using prompt-based learning for text classification, the goal is to use a pre-trained language model (PLM) to predict a missing token in a pre-defined template given an input text, which can be mapped to a class label. However, PLMs built on the transformer architecture tend to generate similar output embeddings, making it difficult to discriminate between different class labels. The problem is further exacerbated when dealing with classification tasks involving many fine-grained class labels. In this work, we alleviate this information diffusion issue, i.e., different tokens share a large proportion of similar information after going through stacked multiple self-attention layers in a transformer, by proposing a calibration method built on feature transformations through rotation and scaling to map a PLM-encoded embedding into a new metric space to guarantee the distinguishability of the resulting embeddings. Furthermore, we take the advantage of hyperbolic embeddings to capture the hierarchical relations among fine-grained class-associated token embedding by a coarse-to-fine metric learning strategy to enhance the distinguishability of the learned output embeddings. Extensive experiments on the three datasets under various settings demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach. Our code can be found at

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