When and Why Are Pre-Trained Word Embeddings Useful for Neural Machine Translation?

Ye Qi, Devendra Sachan, Matthieu Felix, Sarguna Padmanabhan, Graham Neubig


Abstract
The performance of Neural Machine Translation (NMT) systems often suffers in low-resource scenarios where sufficiently large-scale parallel corpora cannot be obtained. Pre-trained word embeddings have proven to be invaluable for improving performance in natural language analysis tasks, which often suffer from paucity of data. However, their utility for NMT has not been extensively explored. In this work, we perform five sets of experiments that analyze when we can expect pre-trained word embeddings to help in NMT tasks. We show that such embeddings can be surprisingly effective in some cases – providing gains of up to 20 BLEU points in the most favorable setting.
Anthology ID:
N18-2084
Volume:
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 2 (Short Papers)
Month:
June
Year:
2018
Address:
New Orleans, Louisiana
Venue:
NAACL
SIG:
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
529–535
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/N18-2084
DOI:
10.18653/v1/N18-2084
Bibkey:
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/N18-2084.pdf
Software:
 N18-2084.Software.tgz
Code
 neulab/word-embeddings-for-nmt