Large attention-based transformer models have obtained massive gains on natural language processing (NLP). However, training these gigantic networks from scratch requires a tremendous amount of data and compute. For smaller NLP datasets, a simple yet effective strategy is to use a pre-trained transformer, usually trained in an unsupervised fashion on very large datasets, and fine-tune it on the dataset of interest. Hugging Face maintains a large model zoo of these pre-trained transformers and makes them easily accessible even for novice users.
However, fine-tuning these models still requires expert knowledge, because they’re quite sensitive to their hyperparameters, such as learning rate or batch size. In this post, we show how to optimize these hyperparameters with the open-source framework Syne Tune for distributed hyperparameter optimization (HPO). Syne Tune allows us to find a better hyperparameter configuration that achieves a relative improvement between 1-4% compared to default hyperparameters on popular GLUE benchmark datasets.

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