Published online by Cambridge University Press: 31 July 2019
Sentence-level representations are necessary for various natural language processing tasks. Recurrent neural networks have proven to be very effective in learning distributed representations and can be trained efficiently on natural language inference tasks. We build on top of one such model and propose a hierarchy of bidirectional LSTM and max pooling layers that implements an iterative refinement strategy and yields state of the art results on the SciTail dataset as well as strong results for Stanford Natural Language Inference and Multi-Genre Natural Language Inference. We can show that the sentence embeddings learned in this way can be utilized in a wide variety of transfer learning tasks, outperforming InferSent on 7 out of 10 and SkipThought on 8 out of 9 SentEval sentence embedding evaluation tasks. Furthermore, our model beats the InferSent model in 8 out of 10 recently published SentEval probing tasks designed to evaluate sentence embeddings’ ability to capture some of the important linguistic properties of sentences.