Frédéric Blain

Also published as: Frederic Blain


2021

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Pushing the Right Buttons: Adversarial Evaluation of Quality Estimation
Diptesh Kanojia | Marina Fomicheva | Tharindu Ranasinghe | Frédéric Blain | Constantin Orăsan | Lucia Specia
Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Machine Translation

Current Machine Translation (MT) systems achieve very good results on a growing variety of language pairs and datasets. However, they are known to produce fluent translation outputs that can contain important meaning errors, thus undermining their reliability in practice. Quality Estimation (QE) is the task of automatically assessing the performance of MT systems at test time. Thus, in order to be useful, QE systems should be able to detect such errors. However, this ability is yet to be tested in the current evaluation practices, where QE systems are assessed only in terms of their correlation with human judgements. In this work, we bridge this gap by proposing a general methodology for adversarial testing of QE for MT. First, we show that despite a high correlation with human judgements achieved by the recent SOTA, certain types of meaning errors are still problematic for QE to detect. Second, we show that on average, the ability of a given model to discriminate between meaning-preserving and meaning-altering perturbations is predictive of its overall performance, thus potentially allowing for comparing QE systems without relying on manual quality annotation.

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Findings of the WMT 2021 Shared Task on Quality Estimation
Lucia Specia | Frédéric Blain | Marina Fomicheva | Chrysoula Zerva | Zhenhao Li | Vishrav Chaudhary | André F. T. Martins
Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Machine Translation

We report the results of the WMT 2021 shared task on Quality Estimation, where the challenge is to predict the quality of the output of neural machine translation systems at the word and sentence levels. This edition focused on two main novel additions: (i) prediction for unseen languages, i.e. zero-shot settings, and (ii) prediction of sentences with catastrophic errors. In addition, new data was released for a number of languages, especially post-edited data. Participating teams from 19 institutions submitted altogether 1263 systems to different task variants and language pairs.

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deepQuest-py: Large and Distilled Models for Quality Estimation
Fernando Alva-Manchego | Abiola Obamuyide | Amit Gajbhiye | Frédéric Blain | Marina Fomicheva | Lucia Specia
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

We introduce deepQuest-py, a framework for training and evaluation of large and light-weight models for Quality Estimation (QE). deepQuest-py provides access to (1) state-of-the-art models based on pre-trained Transformers for sentence-level and word-level QE; (2) light-weight and efficient sentence-level models implemented via knowledge distillation; and (3) a web interface for testing models and visualising their predictions. deepQuest-py is available at https://github.com/sheffieldnlp/deepQuest-py under a CC BY-NC-SA licence.

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Knowledge Distillation for Quality Estimation
Amit Gajbhiye | Marina Fomicheva | Fernando Alva-Manchego | Frédéric Blain | Abiola Obamuyide | Nikolaos Aletras | Lucia Specia
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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Backtranslation Feedback Improves User Confidence in MT, Not Quality
Vilém Zouhar | Michal Novák | Matúš Žilinec | Ondřej Bojar | Mateo Obregón | Robin L. Hill | Frédéric Blain | Marina Fomicheva | Lucia Specia | Lisa Yankovskaya
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Translating text into a language unknown to the text’s author, dubbed outbound translation, is a modern need for which the user experience has significant room for improvement, beyond the basic machine translation facility. We demonstrate this by showing three ways in which user confidence in the outbound translation, as well as its overall final quality, can be affected: backward translation, quality estimation (with alignment) and source paraphrasing. In this paper, we describe an experiment on outbound translation from English to Czech and Estonian. We examine the effects of each proposed feedback module and further focus on how the quality of machine translation systems influence these findings and the user perception of success. We show that backward translation feedback has a mixed effect on the whole process: it increases user confidence in the produced translation, but not the objective quality.

2020

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Multimodal Quality Estimation for Machine Translation
Shu Okabe | Frédéric Blain | Lucia Specia
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

We propose approaches to Quality Estimation (QE) for Machine Translation that explore both text and visual modalities for Multimodal QE. We compare various multimodality integration and fusion strategies. For both sentence-level and document-level predictions, we show that state-of-the-art neural and feature-based QE frameworks obtain better results when using the additional modality.

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An Exploratory Study on Multilingual Quality Estimation
Shuo Sun | Marina Fomicheva | Frédéric Blain | Vishrav Chaudhary | Ahmed El-Kishky | Adithya Renduchintala | Francisco Guzmán | Lucia Specia
Proceedings of the 1st Conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 10th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing

Predicting the quality of machine translation has traditionally been addressed with language-specific models, under the assumption that the quality label distribution or linguistic features exhibit traits that are not shared across languages. An obvious disadvantage of this approach is the need for labelled data for each given language pair. We challenge this assumption by exploring different approaches to multilingual Quality Estimation (QE), including using scores from translation models. We show that these outperform single-language models, particularly in less balanced quality label distributions and low-resource settings. In the extreme case of zero-shot QE, we show that it is possible to accurately predict quality for any given new language from models trained on other languages. Our findings indicate that state-of-the-art neural QE models based on powerful pre-trained representations generalise well across languages, making them more applicable in real-world settings.

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Findings of the WMT 2020 Shared Task on Quality Estimation
Lucia Specia | Frédéric Blain | Marina Fomicheva | Erick Fonseca | Vishrav Chaudhary | Francisco Guzmán | André F. T. Martins
Proceedings of the Fifth Conference on Machine Translation

We report the results of the WMT20 shared task on Quality Estimation, where the challenge is to predict the quality of the output of neural machine translation systems at the word, sentence and document levels. This edition included new data with open domain texts, direct assessment annotations, and multiple language pairs: English-German, English-Chinese, Russian-English, Romanian-English, Estonian-English, Sinhala-English and Nepali-English data for the sentence-level subtasks, English-German and English-Chinese for the word-level subtask, and English-French data for the document-level subtask. In addition, we made neural machine translation models available to participants. 19 participating teams from 27 institutions submitted altogether 1374 systems to different task variants and language pairs.

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BERGAMOT-LATTE Submissions for the WMT20 Quality Estimation Shared Task
Marina Fomicheva | Shuo Sun | Lisa Yankovskaya | Frédéric Blain | Vishrav Chaudhary | Mark Fishel | Francisco Guzmán | Lucia Specia
Proceedings of the Fifth Conference on Machine Translation

This paper presents our submission to the WMT2020 Shared Task on Quality Estimation (QE). We participate in Task and Task 2 focusing on sentence-level prediction. We explore (a) a black-box approach to QE based on pre-trained representations; and (b) glass-box approaches that leverage various indicators that can be extracted from the neural MT systems. In addition to training a feature-based regression model using glass-box quality indicators, we also test whether they can be used to predict MT quality directly with no supervision. We assess our systems in a multi-lingual setting and show that both types of approaches generalise well across languages. Our black-box QE models tied for the winning submission in four out of seven language pairs inTask 1, thus demonstrating very strong performance. The glass-box approaches also performed competitively, representing a light-weight alternative to the neural-based models.

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Quality In, Quality Out: Learning from Actual Mistakes
Frederic Blain | Nikolaos Aletras | Lucia Specia
Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Conference of the European Association for Machine Translation

Approaches to Quality Estimation (QE) of machine translation have shown promising results at predicting quality scores for translated sentences. However, QE models are often trained on noisy approximations of quality annotations derived from the proportion of post-edited words in translated sentences instead of direct human annotations of translation errors. The latter is a more reliable ground-truth but more expensive to obtain. In this paper, we present the first attempt to model the task of predicting the proportion of actual translation errors in a sentence while minimising the need for direct human annotation. For that purpose, we use transfer-learning to leverage large scale noisy annotations and small sets of high-fidelity human annotated translation errors to train QE models. Experiments on four language pairs and translations obtained by statistical and neural models show consistent gains over strong baselines.

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Unsupervised Quality Estimation for Neural Machine Translation
Marina Fomicheva | Shuo Sun | Lisa Yankovskaya | Frédéric Blain | Francisco Guzmán | Mark Fishel | Nikolaos Aletras | Vishrav Chaudhary | Lucia Specia
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 8

Quality Estimation (QE) is an important component in making Machine Translation (MT) useful in real-world applications, as it is aimed to inform the user on the quality of the MT output at test time. Existing approaches require large amounts of expert annotated data, computation, and time for training. As an alternative, we devise an unsupervised approach to QE where no training or access to additional resources besides the MT system itself is required. Different from most of the current work that treats the MT system as a black box, we explore useful information that can be extracted from the MT system as a by-product of translation. By utilizing methods for uncertainty quantification, we achieve very good correlation with human judgments of quality, rivaling state-of-the-art supervised QE models. To evaluate our approach we collect the first dataset that enables work on both black-box and glass-box approaches to QE.

2018

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Combining Quality Estimation and Automatic Post-editing to Enhance Machine Translation output
Rajen Chatterjee | Matteo Negri | Marco Turchi | Frédéric Blain | Lucia Specia
Proceedings of the 13th Conference of the Association for Machine Translation in the Americas (Volume 1: Research Track)

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Findings of the WMT 2018 Shared Task on Quality Estimation
Lucia Specia | Frédéric Blain | Varvara Logacheva | Ramón F. Astudillo | André F. T. Martins
Proceedings of the Third Conference on Machine Translation: Shared Task Papers

We report the results of the WMT18 shared task on Quality Estimation, i.e. the task of predicting the quality of the output of machine translation systems at various granularity levels: word, phrase, sentence and document. This year we include four language pairs, three text domains, and translations produced by both statistical and neural machine translation systems. Participating teams from ten institutions submitted a variety of systems to different task variants and language pairs.

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Sheffield Submissions for the WMT18 Quality Estimation Shared Task
Julia Ive | Carolina Scarton | Frédéric Blain | Lucia Specia
Proceedings of the Third Conference on Machine Translation: Shared Task Papers

In this paper we present the University of Sheffield submissions for the WMT18 Quality Estimation shared task. We discuss our submissions to all four sub-tasks, where ours is the only team to participate in all language pairs and variations (37 combinations). Our systems show competitive results and outperform the baseline in nearly all cases.

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deepQuest: A Framework for Neural-based Quality Estimation
Julia Ive | Frédéric Blain | Lucia Specia
Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Predicting Machine Translation (MT) quality can help in many practical tasks such as MT post-editing. The performance of Quality Estimation (QE) methods has drastically improved recently with the introduction of neural approaches to the problem. However, thus far neural approaches have only been designed for word and sentence-level prediction. We present a neural framework that is able to accommodate neural QE approaches at these fine-grained levels and generalize them to the level of documents. We test the framework with two sentence-level neural QE approaches: a state of the art approach that requires extensive pre-training, and a new light-weight approach that we propose, which employs basic encoders. Our approach is significantly faster and yields performance improvements for a range of document-level quality estimation tasks. To our knowledge, this is the first neural architecture for document-level QE. In addition, for the first time we apply QE models to the output of both statistical and neural MT systems for a series of European languages and highlight the new challenges resulting from the use of neural MT.

2017

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Guiding Neural Machine Translation Decoding with External Knowledge
Rajen Chatterjee | Matteo Negri | Marco Turchi | Marcello Federico | Lucia Specia | Frédéric Blain
Proceedings of the Second Conference on Machine Translation

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The QT21 Combined Machine Translation System for English to Latvian
Jan-Thorsten Peter | Hermann Ney | Ondřej Bojar | Ngoc-Quan Pham | Jan Niehues | Alex Waibel | Franck Burlot | François Yvon | Mārcis Pinnis | Valters Šics | Jasmijn Bastings | Miguel Rios | Wilker Aziz | Philip Williams | Frédéric Blain | Lucia Specia
Proceedings of the Second Conference on Machine Translation

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Bilexical Embeddings for Quality Estimation
Frédéric Blain | Carolina Scarton | Lucia Specia
Proceedings of the Second Conference on Machine Translation

2016

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Sheffield Systems for the English-Romanian WMT Translation Task
Frédéric Blain | Xingyi Song | Lucia Specia
Proceedings of the First Conference on Machine Translation: Volume 2, Shared Task Papers

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The QT21/HimL Combined Machine Translation System
Jan-Thorsten Peter | Tamer Alkhouli | Hermann Ney | Matthias Huck | Fabienne Braune | Alexander Fraser | Aleš Tamchyna | Ondřej Bojar | Barry Haddow | Rico Sennrich | Frédéric Blain | Lucia Specia | Jan Niehues | Alex Waibel | Alexandre Allauzen | Lauriane Aufrant | Franck Burlot | Elena Knyazeva | Thomas Lavergne | François Yvon | Mārcis Pinnis | Stella Frank
Proceedings of the First Conference on Machine Translation: Volume 2, Shared Task Papers

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USFD’s Phrase-level Quality Estimation Systems
Varvara Logacheva | Frédéric Blain | Lucia Specia
Proceedings of the First Conference on Machine Translation: Volume 2, Shared Task Papers

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USFD at SemEval-2016 Task 1: Putting different State-of-the-Arts into a Box
Ahmet Aker | Frederic Blain | Andres Duque | Marina Fomicheva | Jurica Seva | Kashif Shah | Daniel Beck
Proceedings of the 10th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2016)

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Phrase Level Segmentation and Labelling of Machine Translation Errors
Frédéric Blain | Varvara Logacheva | Lucia Specia
Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'16)

This paper presents our work towards a novel approach for Quality Estimation (QE) of machine translation based on sequences of adjacent words, the so-called phrases. This new level of QE aims to provide a natural balance between QE at word and sentence-level, which are either too fine grained or too coarse levels for some applications. However, phrase-level QE implies an intrinsic challenge: how to segment a machine translation into sequence of words (contiguous or not) that represent an error. We discuss three possible segmentation strategies to automatically extract erroneous phrases. We evaluate these strategies against annotations at phrase-level produced by humans, using a new dataset collected for this purpose.

2015

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SHEF-NN: Translation Quality Estimation with Neural Networks
Kashif Shah | Varvara Logacheva | Gustavo Paetzold | Frederic Blain | Daniel Beck | Fethi Bougares | Lucia Specia
Proceedings of the Tenth Workshop on Statistical Machine Translation

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Continuous Adaptation to User Feedback for Statistical Machine Translation
Frédéric Blain | Fethi Bougares | Amir Hazem | Loïc Barrault | Holger Schwenk
Proceedings of the 2015 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

2014

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The MateCat Tool
Marcello Federico | Nicola Bertoldi | Mauro Cettolo | Matteo Negri | Marco Turchi | Marco Trombetti | Alessandro Cattelan | Antonio Farina | Domenico Lupinetti | Andrea Martines | Alberto Massidda | Holger Schwenk | Loïc Barrault | Frederic Blain | Philipp Koehn | Christian Buck | Ulrich Germann
Proceedings of COLING 2014, the 25th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations

2012

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Collaborative Machine Translation Service for Scientific texts
Patrik Lambert | Jean Senellart | Laurent Romary | Holger Schwenk | Florian Zipser | Patrice Lopez | Frédéric Blain
Proceedings of the Demonstrations at the 13th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics

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Incremental adaptation using translation information and post-editing analysis
Frédéric Blain | Holger Schwenk | Jean Senellart
Proceedings of the 9th International Workshop on Spoken Language Translation: Papers

It is well known that statistical machine translation systems perform best when they are adapted to the task. In this paper we propose new methods to quickly perform incremental adaptation without the need to obtain word-by-word alignments from GIZA or similar tools. The main idea is to use an automatic translation as pivot to infer alignments between the source sentence and the reference translation, or user correction. We compared our approach to the standard method to perform incremental re-training. We achieve similar results in the BLEU score using less computational resources. Fast retraining is particularly interesting when we want to almost instantly integrate user feed-back, for instance in a post-editing context or machine translation assisted CAT tool. We also explore several methods to combine the translation models.

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Automatic Translation of Scientific Documents in the HAL Archive
Patrik Lambert | Holger Schwenk | Frédéric Blain
Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'12)

This paper describes the development of a statistical machine translation system between French and English for scientific papers. This system will be closely integrated into the French HAL open archive, a collection of more than 100.000 scientific papers. We describe the creation of in-domain parallel and monolingual corpora, the development of a domain specific translation system with the created resources, and its adaptation using monolingual resources only. These techniques allowed us to improve a generic system by more than 10 BLEU points.

2011

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Qualitative Analysis of Post-Editing for High Quality Machine Translation
Frédéric Blain | Jean Senellart | Holger Schwenk | Mirko Plitt | Johann Roturier
Proceedings of Machine Translation Summit XIII: Papers

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