Dual encoders have been used for retrieval tasks and representation learning with good results. A standard way to train dual encoders is using a contrastive loss with in-batch negatives. In this work, we propose an improved contrastive learning objective by adding queries or documents from the same encoder towers to the negatives, for which we name it as "contrastive loss with SAMe TOwer NEgatives" (SamToNe). By evaluating on question answering retrieval benchmarks from MS MARCO and MultiReQA, and heterogenous zero-shot information retrieval benchmarks (BEIR), we demonstrate that SamToNe can effectively improve the retrieval quality for both symmetric and asymmetric dual encoders. By directly probing the embedding spaces of the two encoding towers via the t-SNE algorithm (van der Maaten and Hinton, 2008), we observe that SamToNe ensures the alignment between the embedding spaces from the two encoder towers. Based on the analysis of the embedding distance distributions of the top-$1$ retrieved results, we further explain the efficacy of the method from the perspective of regularisation.
Large language models (LLMs) have demonstrated human-level performance on a vast spectrum of natural language tasks. However, it is largely unexplored whether they can better internalize knowledge from a structured data, such as a knowledge graph, or from text. In this work, we propose a method to infuse structured knowledge into LLMs, by directly training T5 models on factual triples of knowledge graphs (KGs). We show that models pre-trained on Wikidata KG with our method outperform the T5 baselines on FreebaseQA and WikiHop, as well as the Wikidata-answerable subset of TriviaQA and NaturalQuestions. The models pre-trained on factual triples compare competitively with the ones on natural language sentences that contain the same knowledge. Trained on a smaller size KG, WikiMovies, we saw 3x improvement of exact match score on MetaQA task compared to T5 baseline. The proposed method has an advantage that no alignment between the knowledge graph and text corpus is required in curating training data. This makes our method particularly useful when working with industry-scale knowledge graphs.
Multi-head self-attention is a key component of the Transformer, a state-of-the-art architecture for neural machine translation. In this work we evaluate the contribution made by individual attention heads in the encoder to the overall performance of the model and analyze the roles played by them. We find that the most important and confident heads play consistent and often linguistically-interpretable roles. When pruning heads using a method based on stochastic gates and a differentiable relaxation of the L0 penalty, we observe that specialized heads are last to be pruned. Our novel pruning method removes the vast majority of heads without seriously affecting performance. For example, on the English-Russian WMT dataset, pruning 38 out of 48 encoder heads results in a drop of only 0.15 BLEU.