The dominant sequence transduction models are based on complex recurrent or convolutional neural networks that include an encoder and a decoder. The best performing models also connect the encoder and decoder through an attention mechanism. We propose a new simple network architecture, the Transformer, based solely on attention mechanisms, dispensing with recurrence and convolutions entirely. Experiments on two machine translation tasks show these models to be superior in quality while being more parallelizable and requiring significantly less time to train. Our model achieves 28.4 BLEU on the WMT 2014 Englishto-German translation task, improving over the existing best results, including ensembles, by over 2 BLEU. On the WMT 2014 English-to-French translation task, our model establishes a new single-model state-of-the-art BLEU score of 41.8 after training for 3.5 days on eight GPUs, a small fraction of the training costs of the best models from the literature. We show that the Transformer generalizes well to other tasks by applying it successfully to English constituency parsing both with large and limited training data.
Recurrent neural networks, long short-term memory and gated recurrent neural networks in particular, have been firmly established as state of the art approaches in sequence modeling and 31st Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS 2017), Long Beach, CA, USA.
transduction problems such as language modeling and machine translation. Numerous efforts have since continued to push the boundaries of recurrent language models and encoder-decoder architectures .
Recurrent models typically factor computation along the symbol positions of the input and output sequences. Aligning the positions to steps in computation time, they generate a sequence of hidden states ht, as a function of the previous hidden state ht−1 and the input for position t. This inherently sequential nature precludes parallelization within training examples, which becomes critical at longer sequence lengths, as memory constraints limit batching across examples. Recent work has achieved significant improvements in computational efficiency through factorization tricks and conditional computation , while also improving model performance in case of the latter. The fundamental constraint of sequential computation, however, remains.