Translation-based Supervision for Policy Generation in Simultaneous Neural Machine Translation

Ashkan Alinejad, Hassan S. Shavarani, Anoop Sarkar


Abstract
In simultaneous machine translation, finding an agent with the optimal action sequence of reads and writes that maintain a high level of translation quality while minimizing the average lag in producing target tokens remains an extremely challenging problem. We propose a novel supervised learning approach for training an agent that can detect the minimum number of reads required for generating each target token by comparing simultaneous translations against full-sentence translations during training to generate oracle action sequences. These oracle sequences can then be used to train a supervised model for action generation at inference time. Our approach provides an alternative to current heuristic methods in simultaneous translation by introducing a new training objective, which is easier to train than previous attempts at training the agent using reinforcement learning techniques for this task. Our experimental results show that our novel training method for action generation produces much higher quality translations while minimizing the average lag in simultaneous translation.
Anthology ID:
2021.emnlp-main.130
Volume:
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing
Month:
November
Year:
2021
Address:
Online and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Venue:
EMNLP
SIG:
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
1734–1744
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/2021.emnlp-main.130
DOI:
10.18653/v1/2021.emnlp-main.130
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Ashkan Alinejad, Hassan S. Shavarani, and Anoop Sarkar. 2021. Translation-based Supervision for Policy Generation in Simultaneous Neural Machine Translation. In Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, pages 1734–1744, Online and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Association for Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
Translation-based Supervision for Policy Generation in Simultaneous Neural Machine Translation (Alinejad et al., EMNLP 2021)
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/2021.emnlp-main.130.pdf
Video:
 https://aclanthology.org/2021.emnlp-main.130.mp4
Code
 sfu-natlang/supervised-simultaneous-mt