UniDrop: A Simple yet Effective Technique to Improve Transformer without Extra Cost

NAACL 2021  ·  Zhen Wu, Lijun Wu, Qi Meng, Yingce Xia, Shufang Xie, Tao Qin, Xinyu Dai, Tie-Yan Liu ·

Transformer architecture achieves great success in abundant natural language processing tasks. The over-parameterization of the Transformer model has motivated plenty of works to alleviate its overfitting for superior performances... With some explorations, we find simple techniques such as dropout, can greatly boost model performance with a careful design. Therefore, in this paper, we integrate different dropout techniques into the training of Transformer models. Specifically, we propose an approach named UniDrop to unites three different dropout techniques from fine-grain to coarse-grain, i.e., feature dropout, structure dropout, and data dropout. Theoretically, we demonstrate that these three dropouts play different roles from regularization perspectives. Empirically, we conduct experiments on both neural machine translation and text classification benchmark datasets. Extensive results indicate that Transformer with UniDrop can achieve around 1.5 BLEU improvement on IWSLT14 translation tasks, and better accuracy for the classification even using strong pre-trained RoBERTa as backbone. read more

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Task Dataset Model Metric Name Metric Value Global Rank Result Benchmark
Machine Translation IWSLT2014 English-German Unidrop BLEU score 29.99 # 1
Machine Translation IWSLT2014 German-English UniDrop BLEU score 36.88 # 3