Order Matters in the Presence of Dataset Imbalance for Multilingual Learning

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper


Dami Choi, Derrick Xin, Hamid Dadkhahi, Justin Gilmer, Ankush Garg, Orhan Firat, Chih-Kuan Yeh, Andrew M. Dai, Behrooz Ghorbani


In this paper, we empirically study the optimization dynamics of multi-task learning, particularly focusing on those that govern a collection of tasks with significant data imbalance. We present a simple yet effective method of pre-training on high-resource tasks, followed by fine-tuning on a mixture of high/low-resource tasks. We provide a thorough empirical study and analysis of this method's benefits showing that it achieves consistent improvements relative to the performance trade-off profile of standard static weighting. We analyze under what data regimes this method is applicable and show its improvements empirically in neural machine translation (NMT) and multi-lingual language modeling.