Anxiang Ma


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基于多尺度建模的端到端自动语音识别方法(An End-to-End Automatic Speech Recognition Method Based on Multiscale Modeling)
Hao Chen (陈昊) | Runlai Zhang (张润来) | Yuhao Zhang (张裕浩) | Chenghao Gao (高成浩) | Chen Xu (许晨) | Anxiang Ma (马安香) | Tong Xiao (肖桐) | Jingbo Zhu (朱靖波)
Proceedings of the 22nd Chinese National Conference on Computational Linguistics


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Bridging the Granularity Gap for Acoustic Modeling
Chen Xu | Yuhao Zhang | Chengbo Jiao | Xiaoqian Liu | Chi Hu | Xin Zeng | Tong Xiao | Anxiang Ma | Huizhen Wang | Jingbo Zhu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

While Transformer has become the de-facto standard for speech, modeling upon the fine-grained frame-level features remains an open challenge of capturing long-distance dependencies and distributing the attention weights. We propose Progressive Down-Sampling (PDS) which gradually compresses the acoustic features into coarser-grained units containing more complete semantic information, like text-level representation. In addition, we develop a representation fusion method to alleviate information loss that occurs inevitably during high compression. In this way, we compress the acoustic features into 1/32 of the initial length while achieving better or comparable performances on the speech recognition task. And as a bonus, it yields inference speedups ranging from 1.20x to 1.47x.By reducing the modeling burden, we also achieve competitive results when training on the more challenging speech translation task.

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CTC-based Non-autoregressive Speech Translation
Chen Xu | Xiaoqian Liu | Xiaowen Liu | Qingxuan Sun | Yuhao Zhang | Murun Yang | Qianqian Dong | Tom Ko | Mingxuan Wang | Tong Xiao | Anxiang Ma | Jingbo Zhu
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Combining end-to-end speech translation (ST) and non-autoregressive (NAR) generation is promising in language and speech processing for their advantages of less error propagation and low latency. In this paper, we investigate the potential of connectionist temporal classification (CTC) for non-autoregressive speech translation (NAST).In particular, we develop a model consisting of two encoders that are guided by CTC to predict the source and target texts, respectively. Introducing CTC into NAST on both language sides has obvious challenges: 1) the conditional independent generation somewhat breaks the interdependency among tokens, and 2) the monotonic alignment assumption in standard CTC does not hold in translation tasks. In response, we develop a prediction-aware encoding approach and a cross-layer attention approach to address these issues. We also use curriculum learning to improve convergence of training. Experiments on the MuST-C ST benchmarks show that our NAST model achieves an average BLEU score of 29.5 with a speed-up of 5.67×, which is comparable to the autoregressive counterpart and even outperforms the previous best result of 0.9 BLEU points.


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On Vision Features in Multimodal Machine Translation
Bei Li | Chuanhao Lv | Zefan Zhou | Tao Zhou | Tong Xiao | Anxiang Ma | JingBo Zhu
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Previous work on multimodal machine translation (MMT) has focused on the way of incorporating vision features into translation but little attention is on the quality of vision models. In this work, we investigate the impact of vision models on MMT. Given the fact that Transformer is becoming popular in computer vision, we experiment with various strong models (such as Vision Transformer) and enhanced features (such as object-detection and image captioning). We develop a selective attention model to study the patch-level contribution of an image in MMT. On detailed probing tasks, we find that stronger vision models are helpful for learning translation from the visual modality. Our results also suggest the need of carefully examining MMT models, especially when current benchmarks are small-scale and biased.

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The NiuTrans Machine Translation Systems for WMT22
Weiqiao Shan | Zhiquan Cao | Yuchen Han | Siming Wu | Yimin Hu | Jie Wang | Yi Zhang | Hou Baoyu | Hang Cao | Chenghao Gao | Xiaowen Liu | Tong Xiao | Anxiang Ma | Jingbo Zhu
Proceedings of the Seventh Conference on Machine Translation (WMT)

This paper describes the NiuTrans neural machine translation systems of the WMT22 General MT constrained task. We participate in four directions, including Chinese→English, English→Croatian, and Livonian↔English. Our models are based on several advanced Transformer variants, e.g., Transformer-ODE, Universal Multiscale Transformer (UMST). The main workflow consists of data filtering, large-scale data augmentation (i.e., iterative back-translation, iterative knowledge distillation), and specific-domain fine-tuning. Moreover, we try several multi-domain methods, such as a multi-domain model structure and a multi-domain data clustering method, to rise to this year’s newly proposed multi-domain test set challenge. For low-resource scenarios, we build a multi-language translation model to enhance the performance, and try to use the pre-trained language model (mBERT) to initialize the translation model.

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Multi-Path Transformer is Better: A Case Study on Neural Machine Translation
Ye Lin | Shuhan Zhou | Yanyang Li | Anxiang Ma | Tong Xiao | Jingbo Zhu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

For years the model performance in machine learning obeyed a power-law relationship with the model size. For the consideration of parameter efficiency, recent studies focus on increasing model depth rather than width to achieve better performance. In this paper, we study how model width affects the Transformer model through a parameter-efficient multi-path structure. To better fuse features extracted from different paths, we add three additional operations to each sublayer: a normalization at the end of each path, a cheap operation to produce more features, and a learnable weighted mechanism to fuse all features flexibly. Extensive experiments on 12 WMT machine translation tasks show that, with the same number of parameters, the shallower multi-path model can achieve similar or even better performance than the deeper model. It reveals that we should pay more attention to the multi-path structure, and there should be a balance between the model depth and width to train a better large-scale Transformer.

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The NiuTrans’s Submission to the IWSLT22 English-to-Chinese Offline Speech Translation Task
Yuhao Zhang | Canan Huang | Chen Xu | Xiaoqian Liu | Bei Li | Anxiang Ma | Tong Xiao | Jingbo Zhu
Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2022)

This paper describes NiuTrans’s submission to the IWSLT22 English-to-Chinese (En-Zh) offline speech translation task. The end-to-end and bilingual system is built by constrained English and Chinese data and translates the English speech to Chinese text without intermediate transcription. Our speech translation models are composed of different pre-trained acoustic models and machine translation models by two kinds of adapters. We compared the effect of the standard speech feature (e.g. log Mel-filterbank) and the pre-training speech feature and try to make them interact. The final submission is an ensemble of three potential speech translation models. Our single best and ensemble model achieves 18.66 BLEU and 19.35 BLEU separately on MuST-C En-Zh tst-COMMON set.