On the Representation Collapse of Sparse Mixture of Experts

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Zewen Chi, Li Dong, Shaohan Huang, Damai Dai, Shuming Ma, Barun Patra, Saksham Singhal, Payal Bajaj, XIA SONG, Xian-Ling Mao, Heyan Huang, Furu Wei


Sparse mixture of experts provides larger model capacity while requiring a constant computational overhead. It employs the routing mechanism to distribute input tokens to the best-matched experts according to their hidden representations. However, learning such a routing mechanism encourages token clustering around expert centroids, implying a trend toward representation collapse. In this work, we propose to estimate the routing scores between tokens and experts on a low-dimensional hypersphere. We conduct extensive experiments on cross-lingual language model pre-training and fine-tuning on downstream tasks. Experimental results across seven multilingual benchmarks show that our method achieves consistent gains. We also present a comprehensive analysis on the representation and routing behaviors of our models. Our method alleviates the representation collapse issue and achieves more consistent routing than the baseline mixture-of-experts methods.