Measuring the Robustness of Natural Language Processing Models to Domain Shifts

arXiv (Cornell University)(2023)

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Existing research on Domain Robustness (DR) suffers from disparate setups, lack of evaluation task variety, and reliance on challenge sets. In this paper, we pose a fundamental question: What is the state of affairs of the DR challenge in the era of Large Language Models (LLMs)? To this end, we construct a DR benchmark comprising diverse NLP tasks, including sentence and token-level classification, QA, and generation, each task consists of several domains. We explore the DR challenge of fine-tuned and few-shot learning models in natural domain shift settings and devise two diagnostic metrics of Out-of-Distribution (OOD) performance degradation: The commonly used Source Drop (SD) and the overlooked Target Drop (TD). Our findings reveal important insights: First, despite their capabilities, zero-to-few shot LLMs and fine-tuning approaches still fail to meet satisfactory performance in the OOD context; Second, TD approximates better than SD the average OOD degradation; Third, in a significant proportion of domain shifts, either SD or TD is positive, but not both, and therefore disregarding one can lead to incorrect DR conclusions.
natural language processing models,shifts,robustness
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