The discrepancy between maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) and task measures such as BLEU score has been studied before for autoregressive neural machine translation (NMT) and resulted in alternative training algorithms (Ranzato et al., 2016; Norouzi et al., 2016; Shen et al., 2016; Wu et al., 2018). However, MLE training remains the de facto approach for autoregressive NMT because of its computational efficiency and stability. Despite this mismatch between the training objective and task measure, we notice that the samples drawn from an MLE-based trained NMT support the desired distribution – there are samples with much higher BLEU score comparing to the beam decoding output. To benefit from this observation, we train an energy-based model to mimic the behavior of the task measure (i.e., the energy-based model assigns lower energy to samples with higher BLEU score), which is resulted in a re-ranking algorithm based on the samples drawn from NMT: energy-based re-ranking (EBR). We use both marginal energy models (over target sentence) and joint energy models (over both source and target sentences). Our EBR with the joint energy model consistently improves the performance of the Transformer-based NMT: +3.7 BLEU points on IWSLT’14 German-English, +3.37 BELU points on Sinhala-English, +1.4 BLEU points on WMT’16 English-German tasks.
This paper introduces rank-based training of structured prediction energy networks (SPENs). Our method samples from output structures using gradient descent and minimizes the ranking violation of the sampled structures with respect to a scalar scoring function defined with domain knowledge. We have successfully trained SPEN for citation field extraction without any labeled data instances, where the only source of supervision is a simple human-written scoring function. Such scoring functions are often easy to provide; the SPEN then furnishes an efficient structured prediction inference procedure.