Affinity Workshop: Women in Machine Learning

Improved Text Classification via Test-Time Augmentation

Helen Lu · Divya Shanmugam · Harini Suresh · John Guttag


Test-time augmentation---the aggregation of predictions across transformed examples of test inputs---is an established technique to improve the performance of image classification models. Importantly, TTA can be used to improve model performance post-hoc, without additional training. Although test-time augmentation (TTA) can be applied to any data modality, it has seen limited adoption in NLP due in part to the difficulty of identifying label-preserving transformations. In this paper, we present augmentation policies that yield significant accuracy improvements with language models. A key finding is that augmentation policy design–for instance, the number of samples generated from a single, non-deterministic augmentation–has a considerable impact on the benefit of TTA. Experiments across a binary classification task and dataset show that test-time augmentation can deliver consistent improvements over current state-of-the-art approaches.

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