Argmax Flows and Multinomial Diffusion: Towards Non-Autoregressive Language Models

02/10/2021 ∙ by Emiel Hoogeboom, et al. ∙ 2

The field of language modelling has been largely dominated by autoregressive models, for which sampling is inherently difficult to parallelize. This paper introduces two new classes of generative models for categorical data such as language or image segmentation: Argmax Flows and Multinomial Diffusion. Argmax Flows are defined by a composition of a continuous distribution (such as a normalizing flow), and an argmax function. To optimize this model, we learn a probabilistic inverse for the argmax that lifts the categorical data to a continuous space. Multinomial Diffusion gradually adds categorical noise in a diffusion process, for which the generative denoising process is learned. We demonstrate that our models perform competitively on language modelling and modelling of image segmentation maps.

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