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Transfer learning is effective for improving the performance of tasks that are related, and Multi-task learning (MTL) and Cross-lingual learning (CLL) are important instances. This paper argues that hard-parameter sharing, of hard-coding layers shared across different tasks or languages, cannot generalize well, when sharing with a loosely related task. Such case, which we call sparse transfer, might actually hurt performance, a phenomenon known as negative transfer. Our contribution is using adversarial training across tasks, to “soft-code” shared and private spaces, to avoid the shared space gets too sparse. In CLL, our proposed architecture considers another challenge of dealing with low-quality input.
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