The University of Edinburgh’s Submission to the IWSLT21 Simultaneous Translation Task

Sukanta Sen, Ulrich Germann, Barry Haddow


Abstract
We describe our submission to the IWSLT 2021 shared task on simultaneous text-to-text English-German translation. Our system is based on the re-translation approach where the agent re-translates the whole source prefix each time it receives a new source token. This approach has the advantage of being able to use a standard neural machine translation (NMT) inference engine with beam search, however, there is a risk that incompatibility between successive re-translations will degrade the output. To improve the quality of the translations, we experiment with various approaches: we use a fixed size wait at the beginning of the sentence, we use a language model score to detect translatable units, and we apply dynamic masking to determine when the translation is unstable. We find that a combination of dynamic masking and language model score obtains the best latency-quality trade-off.
Anthology ID:
2021.iwslt-1.4
Volume:
Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2021)
Month:
August
Year:
2021
Address:
Bangkok, Thailand (online)
Venues:
ACL | IJCNLP | IWSLT
SIG:
SIGSLT
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
46–51
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/2021.iwslt-1.4
DOI:
10.18653/v1/2021.iwslt-1.4
Bibkey:
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/2021.iwslt-1.4.pdf