Guanlin Li


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Evaluating Explanation Methods for Neural Machine Translation
Jierui Li | Lemao Liu | Huayang Li | Guanlin Li | Guoping Huang | Shuming Shi
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Recently many efforts have been devoted to interpreting the black-box NMT models, but little progress has been made on metrics to evaluate explanation methods. Word Alignment Error Rate can be used as such a metric that matches human understanding, however, it can not measure explanation methods on those target words that are not aligned to any source word. This paper thereby makes an initial attempt to evaluate explanation methods from an alternative viewpoint. To this end, it proposes a principled metric based on fidelity in regard to the predictive behavior of the NMT model. As the exact computation for this metric is intractable, we employ an efficient approach as its approximation. On six standard translation tasks, we quantitatively evaluate several explanation methods in terms of the proposed metric and we reveal some valuable findings for these explanation methods in our experiments.


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Understanding Data Augmentation in Neural Machine Translation: Two Perspectives towards Generalization
Guanlin Li | Lemao Liu | Guoping Huang | Conghui Zhu | Tiejun Zhao
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Many Data Augmentation (DA) methods have been proposed for neural machine translation. Existing works measure the superiority of DA methods in terms of their performance on a specific test set, but we find that some DA methods do not exhibit consistent improvements across translation tasks. Based on the observation, this paper makes an initial attempt to answer a fundamental question: what benefits, which are consistent across different methods and tasks, does DA in general obtain? Inspired by recent theoretic advances in deep learning, the paper understands DA from two perspectives towards the generalization ability of a model: input sensitivity and prediction margin, which are defined independent of specific test set thereby may lead to findings with relatively low variance. Extensive experiments show that relatively consistent benefits across five DA methods and four translation tasks are achieved regarding both perspectives.

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On the Word Alignment from Neural Machine Translation
Xintong Li | Guanlin Li | Lemao Liu | Max Meng | Shuming Shi
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Prior researches suggest that neural machine translation (NMT) captures word alignment through its attention mechanism, however, this paper finds attention may almost fail to capture word alignment for some NMT models. This paper thereby proposes two methods to induce word alignment which are general and agnostic to specific NMT models. Experiments show that both methods induce much better word alignment than attention. This paper further visualizes the translation through the word alignment induced by NMT. In particular, it analyzes the effect of alignment errors on translation errors at word level and its quantitative analysis over many testing examples consistently demonstrate that alignment errors are likely to lead to translation errors measured by different metrics.

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Understanding and Improving Hidden Representations for Neural Machine Translation
Guanlin Li | Lemao Liu | Xintong Li | Conghui Zhu | Tiejun Zhao | Shuming Shi
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)

Multilayer architectures are currently the gold standard for large-scale neural machine translation. Existing works have explored some methods for understanding the hidden representations, however, they have not sought to improve the translation quality rationally according to their understanding. Towards understanding for performance improvement, we first artificially construct a sequence of nested relative tasks and measure the feature generalization ability of the learned hidden representation over these tasks. Based on our understanding, we then propose to regularize the layer-wise representations with all tree-induced tasks. To overcome the computational bottleneck resulting from the large number of regularization terms, we design efficient approximation methods by selecting a few coarse-to-fine tasks for regularization. Extensive experiments on two widely-used datasets demonstrate the proposed methods only lead to small extra overheads in training but no additional overheads in testing, and achieve consistent improvements (up to +1.3 BLEU) compared to the state-of-the-art translation model.


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Generative Bridging Network for Neural Sequence Prediction
Wenhu Chen | Guanlin Li | Shuo Ren | Shujie Liu | Zhirui Zhang | Mu Li | Ming Zhou
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long Papers)

In order to alleviate data sparsity and overfitting problems in maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) for sequence prediction tasks, we propose the Generative Bridging Network (GBN), in which a novel bridge module is introduced to assist the training of the sequence prediction model (the generator network). Unlike MLE directly maximizing the conditional likelihood, the bridge extends the point-wise ground truth to a bridge distribution conditioned on it, and the generator is optimized to minimize their KL-divergence. Three different GBNs, namely uniform GBN, language-model GBN and coaching GBN, are proposed to penalize confidence, enhance language smoothness and relieve learning burden. Experiments conducted on two recognized sequence prediction tasks (machine translation and abstractive text summarization) show that our proposed GBNs can yield significant improvements over strong baselines. Furthermore, by analyzing samples drawn from different bridges, expected influences on the generator are verified.