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Understand and Modularize Generator Optimization in ELECTRA-style Pretraining

Chengyu Dong · Liyuan Liu · Hao Cheng · Jingbo Shang · Jianfeng Gao · Xiaodong Liu

Exhibit Hall 1 #734
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Despite the effectiveness of ELECTRA-style pre-training, their performance is dependent on the careful selection of the model size for the auxiliary generator, leading to high trial-and-error costs. In this paper, we present the first systematic study of this problem. Our theoretical investigation highlights the importance of controlling the generator capacity in ELECTRA-style training. Meanwhile, we found it is not handled properly in the original ELECTRA design, leading to the sensitivity issue. Specifically, since adaptive optimizers like Adam will cripple the weighing of individual losses in the joint optimization, the original design fails to control the generator training effectively. To regain control over the generator, we modularize the generator optimization by decoupling the generator optimizer and discriminator optimizer completely, instead of simply relying on the weighted objective combination. Our simple technique reduced the sensitivity of ELECTRA training significantly and obtains considerable performance gain compared to the original design.

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