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Structured Model Probing: Empowering Efficient Transfer Learning by Structured Regularization

Zhi-Fan Wu · Chaojie Mao · Xue Wang · Jianwen Jiang · Yiliang Lv · Rong Jin

Arch 4A-E Poster #218
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Thu 20 Jun 5 p.m. PDT — 6:30 p.m. PDT


Despite encouraging results from recent developments in transfer learning for adapting pre-trained model to downstream tasks, the performance of model probing is still lagging behind the state-of-the-art parameter efficient tuning methods. Our investigation reveals that existing model probing methods perform well for the easy case when the source domain (where models are pre-trained) and the adapted domain are similar, but fail for the difficult case when the two domains are significantly different. Simply incorporating features extracted from multiple layers and increasing complexity of the probing model can mitigate the gap in the difficult case, but degrades the performance in the easy case. To address this challenge, we propose structured model probing ({\bf SMP}) that is able to deliver good performance for both cases through {\bf structured regularization}. The regularization performs feature selection leveraging model structure as a prior, and controls the complexity of the probing model through the weights of selected structures. This enables us to construct a simple adaptation model, with a small number of selected features and a linear prediction model, for the easy case; and to automatically increase the complexity of adaptation model, with a large number of selected features and a non-linear model, for the difficult case. Our extensive empirical studies show that SMP significantly outperforms the state-of-the-art methods for parameter efficient tuning, and at the same time, still maintains the advantage of computational efficiency for probing-based methods.

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