NEZHA: Neural Contextualized Representation for Chinese Language Understanding

The pre-trained language models have achieved great successes in various natural language understanding (NLU) tasks due to its capacity to capture the deep contextualized information in text by pre-training on large-scale corpora. In this technical report, we present our practice of pre-training language models named NEZHA (NEural contextualiZed representation for CHinese lAnguage understanding) on Chinese corpora and finetuning for the Chinese NLU tasks. The current version of NEZHA is based on BERT with a collection of proven improvements, which include Functional Relative Positional Encoding as an effective positional encoding scheme, Whole Word Masking strategy, Mixed Precision Training and the LAMB Optimizer in training the models. The experimental results show that NEZHA achieves the state-of-the-art performances when finetuned on several representative Chinese tasks, including named entity recognition (People's Daily NER), sentence matching (LCQMC), Chinese sentiment classification (ChnSenti) and natural language inference (XNLI).

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