02/25/2019 ∙ by Qipeng Guo, et al. ∙ 0

Although the fully-connected attention-based model Transformer has achieved great successes on many NLP tasks, it has heavy structure and usually requires large training data. In this paper, we present the Star-Transformer, an alternative and light-weighted model of the Transformer. To reduce the model complexity, we replace the fully-connected structure with a star-shaped structure, in which every two non-adjacent nodes are connected through a shared relay node. Thus, the Star-Transformer has lower complexity than the standard Transformer (from quadratic to linear according to the input length) and preserves the ability to handle with the long-range dependencies. The experiments on four tasks (22 datasets) show the Star-Transformer achieved significant improvements against the standard Transformer for the modestly sized datasets.



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