Frithjof Petrick


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Document-Level Language Models for Machine Translation
Frithjof Petrick | Christian Herold | Pavel Petrushkov | Shahram Khadivi | Hermann Ney
Proceedings of the Eighth Conference on Machine Translation

Despite the known limitations, most machine translation systems today still operate on the sentence-level. One reason for this is, that most parallel training data is only sentence-level aligned, without document-level meta information available. In this work, we set out to build context-aware translation systems utilizing document-level monolingual data instead. This can be achieved by combining any existing sentence-level translation model with a document-level language model. We improve existing approaches by leveraging recent advancements in model combination. Additionally, we propose novel weighting techniques that make the system combination more flexible and significantly reduce computational overhead. In a comprehensive evaluation on four diverse translation tasks, we show that our extensions improve document-targeted scores significantly and are also computationally more efficient. However, we also find that in most scenarios, back-translation gives even better results, at the cost of having to re-train the translation system. Finally, we explore language model fusion in the light of recent advancements in large language models. Our findings suggest that there might be strong potential in utilizing large language models via model combination.


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Locality-Sensitive Hashing for Long Context Neural Machine Translation
Frithjof Petrick | Jan Rosendahl | Christian Herold | Hermann Ney
Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2022)

After its introduction the Transformer architecture quickly became the gold standard for the task of neural machine translation. A major advantage of the Transformer compared to previous architectures is the faster training speed achieved by complete parallelization across timesteps due to the use of attention over recurrent layers. However, this also leads to one of the biggest problems of the Transformer, namely the quadratic time and memory complexity with respect to the input length. In this work we adapt the locality-sensitive hashing approach of Kitaev et al. (2020) to self-attention in the Transformer, we extended it to cross-attention and apply this memory efficient framework to sentence- and document-level machine translation. Our experiments show that the LSH attention scheme for sentence-level comes at the cost of slightly reduced translation quality. For document-level NMT we are able to include much bigger context sizes than what is possible with the baseline Transformer. However, more context does neither improve translation quality nor improve scores on targeted test suites.


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Recurrent Attention for the Transformer
Jan Rosendahl | Christian Herold | Frithjof Petrick | Hermann Ney
Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Insights from Negative Results in NLP

In this work, we conduct a comprehensive investigation on one of the centerpieces of modern machine translation systems: the encoder-decoder attention mechanism. Motivated by the concept of first-order alignments, we extend the (cross-)attention mechanism by a recurrent connection, allowing direct access to previous attention/alignment decisions. We propose several ways to include such a recurrency into the attention mechanism. Verifying their performance across different translation tasks we conclude that these extensions and dependencies are not beneficial for the translation performance of the Transformer architecture.