Baosong Yang


2022

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UniTE: Unified Translation Evaluation
Yu Wan | Dayiheng Liu | Baosong Yang | Haibo Zhang | Boxing Chen | Derek Wong | Lidia Chao
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Translation quality evaluation plays a crucial role in machine translation. According to the input format, it is mainly separated into three tasks, i.e., reference-only, source-only and source-reference-combined. Recent methods, despite their promising results, are specifically designed and optimized on one of them. This limits the convenience of these methods, and overlooks the commonalities among tasks. In this paper, we propose , which is the first unified framework engaged with abilities to handle all three evaluation tasks. Concretely, we propose monotonic regional attention to control the interaction among input segments, and unified pretraining to better adapt multi-task training. We testify our framework on WMT 2019 Metrics and WMT 2020 Quality Estimation benchmarks. Extensive analyses show that our single model can universally surpass various state-of-the-art or winner methods across tasks.Both source code and associated models are available at https://github.com/NLP2CT/UniTE.

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Unsupervised Preference-Aware Language Identification
Xingzhang Ren | Baosong Yang | Dayiheng Liu | Haibo Zhang | Xiaoyu Lv | Liang Yao | Jun Xie
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Recognizing the language of ambiguous texts has become a main challenge in language identification (LID). When using multilingual applications, users have their own language preferences, which can be regarded as external knowledge for LID. Nevertheless, current studies do not consider the inter-personal variations due to the lack of user annotated training data. To fill this gap, we introduce preference-aware LID and propose a novel unsupervised learning strategy. Concretely, we construct pseudo training set for each user by extracting training samples from a standard LID corpus according to his/her historical language distribution. Besides, we contribute the first user labeled LID test set called “U-LID”. Experimental results reveal that our model can incarnate user traits and significantly outperforms existing LID systems on handling ambiguous texts. Our code and benchmark have been released.

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Attention Mechanism with Energy-Friendly Operations
Yu Wan | Baosong Yang | Dayiheng Liu | Rong Xiao | Derek Wong | Haibo Zhang | Boxing Chen | Lidia Chao
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Attention mechanism has become the dominant module in natural language processing models. It is computationally intensive and depends on massive power-hungry multiplications. In this paper, we rethink variants of attention mechanism from the energy consumption aspects. After reaching the conclusion that the energy costs of several energy-friendly operations are far less than their multiplication counterparts, we build a novel attention model by replacing multiplications with either selective operations or additions. Empirical results on three machine translation tasks demonstrate that the proposed model, against the vanilla one, achieves competitable accuracy while saving 99% and 66% energy during alignment calculation and the whole attention procedure. Our code will be released upon the acceptance.

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GCPG: A General Framework for Controllable Paraphrase Generation
Kexin Yang | Dayiheng Liu | Wenqiang Lei | Baosong Yang | Haibo Zhang | Xue Zhao | Wenqing Yao | Boxing Chen
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Controllable paraphrase generation (CPG) incorporates various external conditions to obtain desirable paraphrases. However, existing works only highlight a special condition under two indispensable aspects of CPG (i.e., lexically and syntactically CPG) individually, lacking a unified circumstance to explore and analyze their effectiveness. In this paper, we propose a general controllable paraphrase generation framework (GCPG), which represents both lexical and syntactical conditions as text sequences and uniformly processes them in an encoder-decoder paradigm. Under GCPG, we reconstruct commonly adopted lexical condition (i.e., Keywords) and syntactical conditions (i.e., Part-Of-Speech sequence, Constituent Tree, Masked Template and Sentential Exemplar) and study the combination of the two types. In particular, for Sentential Exemplar condition, we propose a novel exemplar construction method — Syntax-Similarity based Exemplar (SSE). SSE retrieves a syntactically similar but lexically different sentence as the exemplar for each target sentence, avoiding exemplar-side words copying problem. Extensive experiments demonstrate that GCPG with SSE achieves state-of-the-art performance on two popular benchmarks. In addition, the combination of lexical and syntactical conditions shows the significant controllable ability of paraphrase generation, and these empirical results could provide novel insight to user-oriented paraphrasing.

2021

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RoBLEURT Submission for WMT2021 Metrics Task
Yu Wan | Dayiheng Liu | Baosong Yang | Tianchi Bi | Haibo Zhang | Boxing Chen | Weihua Luo | Derek F. Wong | Lidia S. Chao
Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Machine Translation

In this paper, we present our submission to Shared Metrics Task: RoBLEURT (Robustly Optimizing the training of BLEURT). After investigating the recent advances of trainable metrics, we conclude several aspects of vital importance to obtain a well-performed metric model by: 1) jointly leveraging the advantages of source-included model and reference-only model, 2) continuously pre-training the model with massive synthetic data pairs, and 3) fine-tuning the model with data denoising strategy. Experimental results show that our model reaching state-of-the-art correlations with the WMT2020 human annotations upon 8 out of 10 to-English language pairs.

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Multi-Hop Transformer for Document-Level Machine Translation
Long Zhang | Tong Zhang | Haibo Zhang | Baosong Yang | Wei Ye | Shikun Zhang
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Document-level neural machine translation (NMT) has proven to be of profound value for its effectiveness on capturing contextual information. Nevertheless, existing approaches 1) simply introduce the representations of context sentences without explicitly characterizing the inter-sentence reasoning process; and 2) feed ground-truth target contexts as extra inputs at the training time, thus facing the problem of exposure bias. We approach these problems with an inspiration from human behavior – human translators ordinarily emerge a translation draft in their mind and progressively revise it according to the reasoning in discourse. To this end, we propose a novel Multi-Hop Transformer (MHT) which offers NMT abilities to explicitly model the human-like draft-editing and reasoning process. Specifically, our model serves the sentence-level translation as a draft and properly refines its representations by attending to multiple antecedent sentences iteratively. Experiments on four widely used document translation tasks demonstrate that our method can significantly improve document-level translation performance and can tackle discourse phenomena, such as coreference error and the problem of polysemy.

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Towards User-Driven Neural Machine Translation
Huan Lin | Liang Yao | Baosong Yang | Dayiheng Liu | Haibo Zhang | Weihua Luo | Degen Huang | Jinsong Su
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

A good translation should not only translate the original content semantically, but also incarnate personal traits of the original text. For a real-world neural machine translation (NMT) system, these user traits (e.g., topic preference, stylistic characteristics and expression habits) can be preserved in user behavior (e.g., historical inputs). However, current NMT systems marginally consider the user behavior due to: 1) the difficulty of modeling user portraits in zero-shot scenarios, and 2) the lack of user-behavior annotated parallel dataset. To fill this gap, we introduce a novel framework called user-driven NMT. Specifically, a cache-based module and a user-driven contrastive learning method are proposed to offer NMT the ability to capture potential user traits from their historical inputs under a zero-shot learning fashion. Furthermore, we contribute the first Chinese-English parallel corpus annotated with user behavior called UDT-Corpus. Experimental results confirm that the proposed user-driven NMT can generate user-specific translations.

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Bridging Subword Gaps in Pretrain-Finetune Paradigm for Natural Language Generation
Xin Liu | Baosong Yang | Dayiheng Liu | Haibo Zhang | Weihua Luo | Min Zhang | Haiying Zhang | Jinsong Su
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

A well-known limitation in pretrain-finetune paradigm lies in its inflexibility caused by the one-size-fits-all vocabulary.This potentially weakens the effect when applying pretrained models into natural language generation (NLG) tasks, especially for the subword distributions between upstream and downstream tasks with significant discrepancy. Towards approaching this problem, we extend the vanilla pretrain-finetune pipeline with an extra embedding transfer step. Specifically, a plug-and-play embedding generator is introduced to produce the representation of any input token, according to pre-trained embeddings of its morphologically similar ones.Thus, embeddings of mismatch tokens in downstream tasks can also be efficiently initialized.We conduct experiments on a variety of NLG tasks under the pretrain-finetune fashion. Experimental results and extensive analyses show that the proposed strategy offers us opportunities to feel free to transfer the vocabulary, leading to more efficient and better performed downstream NLG models.

2020

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Domain Transfer based Data Augmentation for Neural Query Translation
Liang Yao | Baosong Yang | Haibo Zhang | Boxing Chen | Weihua Luo
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Query translation (QT) serves as a critical factor in successful cross-lingual information retrieval (CLIR). Due to the lack of parallel query samples, neural-based QT models are usually optimized with synthetic data which are derived from large-scale monolingual queries. Nevertheless, such kind of pseudo corpus is mostly produced by a general-domain translation model, making it be insufficient to guide the learning of QT model. In this paper, we extend the data augmentation with a domain transfer procedure, thus to revise synthetic candidates to search-aware examples. Specifically, the domain transfer model is built upon advanced Transformer, in which layer coordination and mixed attention are exploited to speed up the refining process and leverage parameters from a pre-trained cross-lingual language model. In order to examine the effectiveness of the proposed method, we collected French-to-English and Spanish-to-English QT test sets, each of which consists of 10,000 parallel query pairs with careful manual-checking. Qualitative and quantitative analyses reveal that our model significantly outperforms strong baselines and the related domain transfer methods on both translation quality and retrieval accuracy.

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Uncertainty-Aware Curriculum Learning for Neural Machine Translation
Yikai Zhou | Baosong Yang | Derek F. Wong | Yu Wan | Lidia S. Chao
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Neural machine translation (NMT) has proven to be facilitated by curriculum learning which presents examples in an easy-to-hard order at different training stages. The keys lie in the assessment of data difficulty and model competence. We propose uncertainty-aware curriculum learning, which is motivated by the intuition that: 1) the higher the uncertainty in a translation pair, the more complex and rarer the information it contains; and 2) the end of the decline in model uncertainty indicates the completeness of current training stage. Specifically, we serve cross-entropy of an example as its data difficulty and exploit the variance of distributions over the weights of the network to present the model uncertainty. Extensive experiments on various translation tasks reveal that our approach outperforms the strong baseline and related methods on both translation quality and convergence speed. Quantitative analyses reveal that the proposed strategy offers NMT the ability to automatically govern its learning schedule.

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Self-Paced Learning for Neural Machine Translation
Yu Wan | Baosong Yang | Derek F. Wong | Yikai Zhou | Lidia S. Chao | Haibo Zhang | Boxing Chen
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Recent studies have proven that the training of neural machine translation (NMT) can be facilitated by mimicking the learning process of humans. Nevertheless, achievements of such kind of curriculum learning rely on the quality of artificial schedule drawn up with the handcrafted features, e.g. sentence length or word rarity. We ameliorate this procedure with a more flexible manner by proposing self-paced learning, where NMT model is allowed to 1) automatically quantify the learning confidence over training examples; and 2) flexibly govern its learning via regulating the loss in each iteration step. Experimental results over multiple translation tasks demonstrate that the proposed model yields better performance than strong baselines and those models trained with human-designed curricula on both translation quality and convergence speed.

2019

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Leveraging Local and Global Patterns for Self-Attention Networks
Mingzhou Xu | Derek F. Wong | Baosong Yang | Yue Zhang | Lidia S. Chao
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Self-attention networks have received increasing research attention. By default, the hidden states of each word are hierarchically calculated by attending to all words in the sentence, which assembles global information. However, several studies pointed out that taking all signals into account may lead to overlooking neighboring information (e.g. phrase pattern). To address this argument, we propose a hybrid attention mechanism to dynamically leverage both of the local and global information. Specifically, our approach uses a gating scalar for integrating both sources of the information, which is also convenient for quantifying their contributions. Experiments on various neural machine translation tasks demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method. The extensive analyses verify that the two types of contexts are complementary to each other, and our method gives highly effective improvements in their integration.

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Assessing the Ability of Self-Attention Networks to Learn Word Order
Baosong Yang | Longyue Wang | Derek F. Wong | Lidia S. Chao | Zhaopeng Tu
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Self-attention networks (SAN) have attracted a lot of interests due to their high parallelization and strong performance on a variety of NLP tasks, e.g. machine translation. Due to the lack of recurrence structure such as recurrent neural networks (RNN), SAN is ascribed to be weak at learning positional information of words for sequence modeling. However, neither this speculation has been empirically confirmed, nor explanations for their strong performances on machine translation tasks when “lacking positional information” have been explored. To this end, we propose a novel word reordering detection task to quantify how well the word order information learned by SAN and RNN. Specifically, we randomly move one word to another position, and examine whether a trained model can detect both the original and inserted positions. Experimental results reveal that: 1) SAN trained on word reordering detection indeed has difficulty learning the positional information even with the position embedding; and 2) SAN trained on machine translation learns better positional information than its RNN counterpart, in which position embedding plays a critical role. Although recurrence structure make the model more universally-effective on learning word order, learning objectives matter more in the downstream tasks such as machine translation.

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Modeling Recurrence for Transformer
Jie Hao | Xing Wang | Baosong Yang | Longyue Wang | Jinfeng Zhang | Zhaopeng Tu
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

Recently, the Transformer model that is based solely on attention mechanisms, has advanced the state-of-the-art on various machine translation tasks. However, recent studies reveal that the lack of recurrence modeling hinders its further improvement of translation capacity. In response to this problem, we propose to directly model recurrence for Transformer with an additional recurrence encoder. In addition to the standard recurrent neural network, we introduce a novel attentive recurrent network to leverage the strengths of both attention models and recurrent networks. Experimental results on the widely-used WMT14 English⇒German and WMT17 Chinese⇒English translation tasks demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach. Our studies also reveal that the proposed model benefits from a short-cut that bridges the source and target sequences with a single recurrent layer, which outperforms its deep counterpart.

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Information Aggregation for Multi-Head Attention with Routing-by-Agreement
Jian Li | Baosong Yang | Zi-Yi Dou | Xing Wang | Michael R. Lyu | Zhaopeng Tu
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

Multi-head attention is appealing for its ability to jointly extract different types of information from multiple representation subspaces. Concerning the information aggregation, a common practice is to use a concatenation followed by a linear transformation, which may not fully exploit the expressiveness of multi-head attention. In this work, we propose to improve the information aggregation for multi-head attention with a more powerful routing-by-agreement algorithm. Specifically, the routing algorithm iteratively updates the proportion of how much a part (i.e. the distinct information learned from a specific subspace) should be assigned to a whole (i.e. the final output representation), based on the agreement between parts and wholes. Experimental results on linguistic probing tasks and machine translation tasks prove the superiority of the advanced information aggregation over the standard linear transformation.

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Convolutional Self-Attention Networks
Baosong Yang | Longyue Wang | Derek F. Wong | Lidia S. Chao | Zhaopeng Tu
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

Self-attention networks (SANs) have drawn increasing interest due to their high parallelization in computation and flexibility in modeling dependencies. SANs can be further enhanced with multi-head attention by allowing the model to attend to information from different representation subspaces. In this work, we propose novel convolutional self-attention networks, which offer SANs the abilities to 1) strengthen dependencies among neighboring elements, and 2) model the interaction between features extracted by multiple attention heads. Experimental results of machine translation on different language pairs and model settings show that our approach outperforms both the strong Transformer baseline and other existing models on enhancing the locality of SANs. Comparing with prior studies, the proposed model is parameter free in terms of introducing no more parameters.

2018

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Multi-Head Attention with Disagreement Regularization
Jian Li | Zhaopeng Tu | Baosong Yang | Michael R. Lyu | Tong Zhang
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Multi-head attention is appealing for the ability to jointly attend to information from different representation subspaces at different positions. In this work, we introduce a disagreement regularization to explicitly encourage the diversity among multiple attention heads. Specifically, we propose three types of disagreement regularization, which respectively encourage the subspace, the attended positions, and the output representation associated with each attention head to be different from other heads. Experimental results on widely-used WMT14 English-German and WMT17 Chinese-English translation tasks demonstrate the effectiveness and universality of the proposed approach.

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Modeling Localness for Self-Attention Networks
Baosong Yang | Zhaopeng Tu | Derek F. Wong | Fandong Meng | Lidia S. Chao | Tong Zhang
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Self-attention networks have proven to be of profound value for its strength of capturing global dependencies. In this work, we propose to model localness for self-attention networks, which enhances the ability of capturing useful local context. We cast localness modeling as a learnable Gaussian bias, which indicates the central and scope of the local region to be paid more attention. The bias is then incorporated into the original attention distribution to form a revised distribution. To maintain the strength of capturing long distance dependencies while enhance the ability of capturing short-range dependencies, we only apply localness modeling to lower layers of self-attention networks. Quantitative and qualitative analyses on Chinese-English and English-German translation tasks demonstrate the effectiveness and universality of the proposed approach.

2017

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Towards Bidirectional Hierarchical Representations for Attention-based Neural Machine Translation
Baosong Yang | Derek F. Wong | Tong Xiao | Lidia S. Chao | Jingbo Zhu
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

This paper proposes a hierarchical attentional neural translation model which focuses on enhancing source-side hierarchical representations by covering both local and global semantic information using a bidirectional tree-based encoder. To maximize the predictive likelihood of target words, a weighted variant of an attention mechanism is used to balance the attentive information between lexical and phrase vectors. Using a tree-based rare word encoding, the proposed model is extended to sub-word level to alleviate the out-of-vocabulary (OOV) problem. Empirical results reveal that the proposed model significantly outperforms sequence-to-sequence attention-based and tree-based neural translation models in English-Chinese translation tasks.

2015

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Sampling-based Alignment and Hierarchical Sub-sentential Alignment in Chinese–Japanese Translation of Patents
Wei Yang | Zhongwen Zhao | Baosong Yang | Yves Lepage
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Asian Translation (WAT2015)