September 9, 2017

Supervised Learning of Universal Sentence Representations from Natural Language Inference Data

Conference on Empirical Methods on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

By: Alexis Conneau, Douwe Kiela, Holger Schwenk, Loıc Barrault, Antoine Bordes


Many modern NLP systems rely on word embeddings, previously trained in an unsupervised manner on large corpora, as base features. Efforts to obtain embeddings for larger chunks of text, such as sentences, have however not been so successful. Several attempts at learning unsupervised representations of sentences have not reached satisfactory enough performance to be widely adopted. In this paper, we show how universal sentence representations trained using the supervised data of the Stanford Natural Language Inference datasets can consistently outperform unsupervised methods like SkipThought vectors (Kiros et al., 2015) on a wide range of transfer tasks. Much like how computer vision uses ImageNet to obtain features, which can then be transferred to other tasks, our work tends to indicate the suitability of natural language inference for transfer learning to other NLP tasks. Our encoder is publicly available.