Legal-Tech Open Diaries: Lesson learned on how to develop and deploy light-weight models in the era of humongous Language Models

24 Oct 2022  ·  Stelios Maroudas, Sotiris Legkas, Prodromos Malakasiotis, Ilias Chalkidis ·

In the era of billion-parameter-sized Language Models (LMs), start-ups have to follow trends and adapt their technology accordingly. Nonetheless, there are open challenges since the development and deployment of large models comes with a need for high computational resources and has economical consequences. In this work, we follow the steps of the R&D group of a modern legal-tech start-up and present important insights on model development and deployment. We start from ground zero by pre-training multiple domain-specific multi-lingual LMs which are a better fit to contractual and regulatory text compared to the available alternatives (XLM-R). We present benchmark results of such models in a half-public half-private legal benchmark comprising 5 downstream tasks showing the impact of larger model size. Lastly, we examine the impact of a full-scale pipeline for model compression which includes: a) Parameter Pruning, b) Knowledge Distillation, and c) Quantization: The resulting models are much more efficient without sacrificing performance at large.

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