Chen Xu


2022

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Semantic Sentence Matching via Interacting Syntax Graphs
Chen Xu | Jun Xu | Zhenhua Dong | Ji-Rong Wen
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Studies have shown that the sentence’s syntactic structures are important for semantic sentence matching. A typical approach is encoding each sentence’s syntactic structure into an embedding vector, which can be combined with other features to predict the final matching scores. Though successes have been observed, embedding the whole syntactic structures as one vector inevitably overlooks the fine-grained syntax matching patterns, e.g. the alignment of specific term dependencies relations in the two inputted sentences. In this paper, we formalize the task of semantic sentence matching as a problem of graph matching in which each sentence is represented as a directed graph according to its syntactic structures. The syntax matching patterns (i.e. similar syntactic structures) between two sentences, therefore, can be extracted as the sub-graph structure alignments. The proposed method, referred to as Interacted Syntax Graphs (ISG), represents two sentences’ syntactic alignments as well as their semantic matching signals into one association graph. After that, the neural quadratic assignment programming (QAP) is adapted to extract syntactic matching patterns from the association graph. In this way, the syntactic structures fully interact in a fine granularity during the matching process. Experimental results on three public datasets demonstrated that ISG can outperform the state-of-the-art baselines effectively and efficiently. The empirical analysis also showed that ISG can match sentences in an interpretable way.

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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.

2021

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利用图像描述与知识图谱增强表示的视觉问答(Exploiting Image Captions and External Knowledge as Representation Enhancement for Visual Question Answering)
Gechao Wang (王屹超) | Muhua Zhu (朱慕华) | Chen Xu (许晨) | Yan Zhang (张琰) | Huizhen Wang (王会珍) | Jingbo Zhu (朱靖波)
Proceedings of the 20th Chinese National Conference on Computational Linguistics

视觉问答作为多模态任务,需要深度理解图像和文本问题从而推理出答案。然而在许多情况下,仅在图像和问题上进行简单推理难以得到正确的答案,事实上还有其它有效的信息可以被利用,例如图像描述、外部知识等。针对以上问题,本文提出了利用图像描述和外部知识增强表示的视觉问答模型。该模型以问题为导向,基于协同注意力机制分别在图像和其描述上进行编码,并且利用知识图谱嵌入,将外部知识编码到模型当中,丰富了模型的特征表示,增强模型的推理能力。在OKVQA数据集上的实验结果表明本文方法相比基线系统有1.71%的准确率提升,与先前工作中的主流模型相比也有1.88%的准确率提升,证明了本文方法的有效性。

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The NiuTrans End-to-End Speech Translation System for IWSLT 2021 Offline Task
Chen Xu | Xiaoqian Liu | Xiaowen Liu | Tiger Wang | Canan Huang | Tong Xiao | Jingbo Zhu
Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2021)

This paper describes the submission of the NiuTrans end-to-end speech translation system for the IWSLT 2021 offline task, which translates from the English audio to German text directly without intermediate transcription. We use the Transformer-based model architecture and enhance it by Conformer, relative position encoding, and stacked acoustic and textual encoding. To augment the training data, the English transcriptions are translated to German translations. Finally, we employ ensemble decoding to integrate the predictions from several models trained with the different datasets. Combining these techniques, we achieve 33.84 BLEU points on the MuST-C En-De test set, which shows the enormous potential of the end-to-end model.

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Stacked Acoustic-and-Textual Encoding: Integrating the Pre-trained Models into Speech Translation Encoders
Chen Xu | Bojie Hu | Yanyang Li | Yuhao Zhang | Shen Huang | Qi Ju | Tong Xiao | Jingbo Zhu
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)

Encoder pre-training is promising in end-to-end Speech Translation (ST), given the fact that speech-to-translation data is scarce. But ST encoders are not simple instances of Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) or Machine Translation (MT) encoders. For example, we find that ASR encoders lack the global context representation, which is necessary for translation, whereas MT encoders are not designed to deal with long but locally attentive acoustic sequences. In this work, we propose a Stacked Acoustic-and-Textual Encoding (SATE) method for speech translation. Our encoder begins with processing the acoustic sequence as usual, but later behaves more like an MT encoder for a global representation of the input sequence. In this way, it is straightforward to incorporate the pre-trained models into the system. Also, we develop an adaptor module to alleviate the representation inconsistency between the pre-trained ASR encoder and MT encoder, and develop a multi-teacher knowledge distillation method to preserve the pre-training knowledge. Experimental results on the LibriSpeech En-Fr and MuST-C En-De ST tasks show that our method achieves state-of-the-art BLEU scores of 18.3 and 25.2. To our knowledge, we are the first to develop an end-to-end ST system that achieves comparable or even better BLEU performance than the cascaded ST counterpart when large-scale ASR and MT data is available.

2020

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Dynamic Curriculum Learning for Low-Resource Neural Machine Translation
Chen Xu | Bojie Hu | Yufan Jiang | Kai Feng | Zeyang Wang | Shen Huang | Qi Ju | Tong Xiao | Jingbo Zhu
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Large amounts of data has made neural machine translation (NMT) a big success in recent years. But it is still a challenge if we train these models on small-scale corpora. In this case, the way of using data appears to be more important. Here, we investigate the effective use of training data for low-resource NMT. In particular, we propose a dynamic curriculum learning (DCL) method to reorder training samples in training. Unlike previous work, we do not use a static scoring function for reordering. Instead, the order of training samples is dynamically determined in two ways - loss decline and model competence. This eases training by highlighting easy samples that the current model has enough competence to learn. We test our DCL method in a Transformer-based system. Experimental results show that DCL outperforms several strong baselines on three low-resource machine translation benchmarks and different sized data of WMT’16 En-De.

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Wasserstein Distance Regularized Sequence Representation for Text Matching in Asymmetrical Domains
Weijie Yu | Chen Xu | Jun Xu | Liang Pang | Xiaopeng Gao | Xiaozhao Wang | Ji-Rong Wen
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

One approach to matching texts from asymmetrical domains is projecting the input sequences into a common semantic space as feature vectors upon which the matching function can be readily defined and learned. In real-world matching practices, it is often observed that with the training goes on, the feature vectors projected from different domains tend to be indistinguishable. The phenomenon, however, is often overlooked in existing matching models. As a result, the feature vectors are constructed without any regularization, which inevitably increases the difficulty of learning the downstream matching functions. In this paper, we propose a novel match method tailored for text matching in asymmetrical domains, called WD-Match. In WD-Match, a Wasserstein distance-based regularizer is defined to regularize the features vectors projected from different domains. As a result, the method enforces the feature projection function to generate vectors such that those correspond to different domains cannot be easily discriminated. The training process of WD-Match amounts to a game that minimizes the matching loss regularized by the Wasserstein distance. WD-Match can be used to improve different text matching methods, by using the method as its underlying matching model. Four popular text matching methods have been exploited in the paper. Experimental results based on four publicly available benchmarks showed that WD-Match consistently outperformed the underlying methods and the baselines.

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The NiuTrans System for the WMT20 Quality Estimation Shared Task
Chi Hu | Hui Liu | Kai Feng | Chen Xu | Nuo Xu | Zefan Zhou | Shiqin Yan | Yingfeng Luo | Chenglong Wang | Xia Meng | Tong Xiao | Jingbo Zhu
Proceedings of the Fifth Conference on Machine Translation

This paper describes the submissions of the NiuTrans Team to the WMT 2020 Quality Estimation Shared Task. We participated in all tasks and all language pairs. We explored the combination of transfer learning, multi-task learning and model ensemble. Results on multiple tasks show that deep transformer machine translation models and multilingual pretraining methods significantly improve translation quality estimation performance. Our system achieved remarkable results in multiple level tasks, e.g., our submissions obtained the best results on all tracks in the sentence-level Direct Assessment task.

2019

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The NiuTrans Machine Translation Systems for WMT19
Bei Li | Yinqiao Li | Chen Xu | Ye Lin | Jiqiang Liu | Hui Liu | Ziyang Wang | Yuhao Zhang | Nuo Xu | Zeyang Wang | Kai Feng | Hexuan Chen | Tengbo Liu | Yanyang Li | Qiang Wang | Tong Xiao | Jingbo Zhu
Proceedings of the Fourth Conference on Machine Translation (Volume 2: Shared Task Papers, Day 1)

This paper described NiuTrans neural machine translation systems for the WMT 2019 news translation tasks. We participated in 13 translation directions, including 11 supervised tasks, namely EN↔{ZH, DE, RU, KK, LT}, GU→EN and the unsupervised DE↔CS sub-track. Our systems were built on Deep Transformer and several back-translation methods. Iterative knowledge distillation and ensemble+reranking were also employed to obtain stronger models. Our unsupervised submissions were based on NMT enhanced by SMT. As a result, we achieved the highest BLEU scores in {KK↔EN, GU→EN} directions, ranking 2nd in {RU→EN, DE↔CS} and 3rd in {ZH→EN, LT→EN, EN→RU, EN↔DE} among all constrained submissions.