What exactly is considered as OOV for the Universal Sentence Encoder Transformer version?

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krupal Modi

Feb 26, 2019, 2:28:05 AM2/26/19
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Hi All,

Currently I am using the Universal Sentence Encoder Transformer version provided at https://tfhub.dev/google/universal-sentence-encoder-large/3 and it works great except when the model encounters OOV words. I explored the model graph and found a DT_STRING Tensor with 200,004 words (one of them is a <UNK> tag) which I was able to extract using the model's proto. But I also noticed the model has a hashmap with 400,000 buckets 

Operation: StringToHashBucketFast
Attributes (1)
num_buckets {"i":400000}

and an embedding tensor (module/Embeddings_en/sharded_*) broken into 17 shards with each shard holding a 35297 x 320 Tensor, which makes 35297 x 17 = 600,049 across first dimension.

This is what confuses me. It would be a great favour and will really help me if someone can answer few questions for me:
  • Why are there more buckets than the static vocab and even more words in embedding tensor? Does the model break words in the sentence into units smaller than words ?
  • Can you please explain how the model embeds units of sentence before they hit the Transformer?
  • What exactly is considered as OOV for the model ?
Let me know if you need more clarification from my end. I am currently using this model for short-text similarity.

Daniel Cer

Feb 26, 2019, 2:09:12 PM2/26/19
to krupal Modi, TensorFlow Hub
Hi Krupal!

OOVs are any words not found in the explicit vocab backed by the ~200k DT_STRING Tensor. 

We do use 400k OOV buckets. Each OOV word is hashed and mapped to one of the buckets to obtain its embedding vector. Using a large number of OOV buckets helps the model handle diverse training data from the web, while still benefiting from the explicit 200k vocab for more common words.  


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Arshad Javeed

Aug 7, 2020, 2:31:00 PM8/7/20
to TensorFlow Hub, krupal...@gmail.com
Hi Dan,

Does it imply that whenever the model encounters OOV, it tries to build embedding representations using the 400k OOV buckets?

Also, I was curious to know how different such a representation would be compared the what the BERT models do, using the skip-gram word representation.


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Daniel Cer

Aug 17, 2020, 6:46:00 PM8/17/20
to Arshad Javeed, TensorFlow Hub, krupal Modi
Yes, for the universal-sentence-encoder-large model, OOVs are hashed to map them to one of the 400k OOV buckets. 

For our multilingual models (e.g., universal-sentence-encoder-multilingual-large), we use SentencePiece for tokenization. This is similar to the WordPiece tokenization used by BERT.

However, our training objective still differs from BERT in that our models are trained largely to sentence-level retrieval/ranking tasks.

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