Jan Rosendahl


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Detecting Various Types of Noise for Neural Machine Translation
Christian Herold | Jan Rosendahl | Joris Vanvinckenroye | Hermann Ney
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

The filtering and/or selection of training data is one of the core aspects to be considered when building a strong machine translation system. In their influential work, Khayrallah and Koehn (2018) investigated the impact of different types of noise on the performance of machine translation systems. In the same year the WMT introduced a shared task on parallel corpus filtering, which went on to be repeated in the following years, and resulted in many different filtering approaches being proposed. In this work we aim to combine the recent achievements in data filtering with the original analysis of Khayrallah and Koehn (2018) and investigate whether state-of-the-art filtering systems are capable of removing all the suggested noise types. We observe that most of these types of noise can be detected with an accuracy of over 90% by modern filtering systems when operating in a well studied high resource setting. However, we also find that when confronted with more refined noise categories or when working with a less common language pair, the performance of the filtering systems is far from optimal, showing that there is still room for improvement in this area of research.

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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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Data Filtering using Cross-Lingual Word Embeddings
Christian Herold | Jan Rosendahl | Joris Vanvinckenroye | Hermann Ney
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Data filtering for machine translation (MT) describes the task of selecting a subset of a given, possibly noisy corpus with the aim to maximize the performance of an MT system trained on this selected data. Over the years, many different filtering approaches have been proposed. However, varying task definitions and data conditions make it difficult to draw a meaningful comparison. In the present work, we aim for a more systematic approach to the task at hand. First, we analyze the performance of language identification, a tool commonly used for data filtering in the MT community and identify specific weaknesses. Based on our findings, we then propose several novel methods for data filtering, based on cross-lingual word embeddings. We compare our approaches to one of the winning methods from the WMT 2018 shared task on parallel corpus filtering on three real-life, high resource MT tasks. We find that said method, which was performing very strong in the WMT shared task, does not perform well within our more realistic task conditions. While we find that our approaches come out at the top on all three tasks, different variants perform best on different tasks. Further experiments on the WMT 2020 shared task for parallel corpus filtering show that our methods achieve comparable results to the strongest submissions of this campaign.

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Integrated Training for Sequence-to-Sequence Models Using Non-Autoregressive Transformer
Evgeniia Tokarchuk | Jan Rosendahl | Weiyue Wang | Pavel Petrushkov | Tomer Lancewicki | Shahram Khadivi | Hermann Ney
Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2021)

Complex natural language applications such as speech translation or pivot translation traditionally rely on cascaded models. However,cascaded models are known to be prone to error propagation and model discrepancy problems. Furthermore, there is no possibility of using end-to-end training data in conventional cascaded systems, meaning that the training data most suited for the task cannot be used. Previous studies suggested several approaches for integrated end-to-end training to overcome those problems, however they mostly rely on(synthetic or natural) three-way data. We propose a cascaded model based on the non-autoregressive Transformer that enables end-to-end training without the need for an explicit intermediate representation. This new architecture (i) avoids unnecessary early decisions that can cause errors which are then propagated throughout the cascaded models and (ii) utilizes the end-to-end training data directly. We conduct an evaluation on two pivot-based machine translation tasks, namely French→German and German→Czech. Our experimental results show that the proposed architecture yields an improvement of more than 2 BLEU for French→German over the cascaded baseline.

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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.


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Analysis of Positional Encodings for Neural Machine Translation
Jan Rosendahl | Viet Anh Khoa Tran | Weiyue Wang | Hermann Ney
Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation

In this work we analyze and compare the behavior of the Transformer architecture when using different positional encoding methods. While absolute and relative positional encoding perform equally strong overall, we show that relative positional encoding is vastly superior (4.4% to 11.9% BLEU) when translating a sentence that is longer than any observed training sentence. We further propose and analyze variations of relative positional encoding and observe that the number of trainable parameters can be reduced without a performance loss, by using fixed encoding vectors or by removing some of the positional encoding vectors.

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Learning Bilingual Sentence Embeddings via Autoencoding and Computing Similarities with a Multilayer Perceptron
Yunsu Kim | Hendrik Rosendahl | Nick Rossenbach | Jan Rosendahl | Shahram Khadivi | Hermann Ney
Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on Representation Learning for NLP (RepL4NLP-2019)

We propose a novel model architecture and training algorithm to learn bilingual sentence embeddings from a combination of parallel and monolingual data. Our method connects autoencoding and neural machine translation to force the source and target sentence embeddings to share the same space without the help of a pivot language or an additional transformation. We train a multilayer perceptron on top of the sentence embeddings to extract good bilingual sentence pairs from nonparallel or noisy parallel data. Our approach shows promising performance on sentence alignment recovery and the WMT 2018 parallel corpus filtering tasks with only a single model.

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The RWTH Aachen University Machine Translation Systems for WMT 2019
Jan Rosendahl | Christian Herold | Yunsu Kim | Miguel Graça | Weiyue Wang | Parnia Bahar | Yingbo Gao | Hermann Ney
Proceedings of the Fourth Conference on Machine Translation (Volume 2: Shared Task Papers, Day 1)

This paper describes the neural machine translation systems developed at the RWTH Aachen University for the German-English, Chinese-English and Kazakh-English news translation tasks of the Fourth Conference on Machine Translation (WMT19). For all tasks, the final submitted system is based on the Transformer architecture. We focus on improving data filtering and fine-tuning as well as systematically evaluating interesting approaches like unigram language model segmentation and transfer learning. For the De-En task, none of the tested methods gave a significant improvement over last years winning system and we end up with the same performance, resulting in 39.6% BLEU on newstest2019. In the Zh-En task, we show 1.3% BLEU improvement over our last year’s submission, which we mostly attribute to the splitting of long sentences during translation. We further report results on the Kazakh-English task where we gain improvements of 11.1% BLEU over our baseline system. On the same task we present a recent transfer learning approach, which uses half of the free parameters of our submission system and performs on par with it.


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The RWTH Aachen University Supervised Machine Translation Systems for WMT 2018
Julian Schamper | Jan Rosendahl | Parnia Bahar | Yunsu Kim | Arne Nix | Hermann Ney
Proceedings of the Third Conference on Machine Translation: Shared Task Papers

This paper describes the statistical machine translation systems developed at RWTH Aachen University for the German→English, English→Turkish and Chinese→English translation tasks of the EMNLP 2018 Third Conference on Machine Translation (WMT 2018). We use ensembles of neural machine translation systems based on the Transformer architecture. Our main focus is on the German→English task where we to all automatic scored first with respect metrics provided by the organizers. We identify data selection, fine-tuning, batch size and model dimension as important hyperparameters. In total we improve by 6.8% BLEU over our last year’s submission and by 4.8% BLEU over the winning system of the 2017 German→English task. In English→Turkish task, we show 3.6% BLEU improvement over the last year’s winning system. We further report results on the Chinese→English task where we improve 2.2% BLEU on average over our baseline systems but stay behind the 2018 winning systems.

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The RWTH Aachen University Filtering System for the WMT 2018 Parallel Corpus Filtering Task
Nick Rossenbach | Jan Rosendahl | Yunsu Kim | Miguel Graça | Aman Gokrani | Hermann Ney
Proceedings of the Third Conference on Machine Translation: Shared Task Papers

This paper describes the submission of RWTH Aachen University for the De→En parallel corpus filtering task of the EMNLP 2018 Third Conference on Machine Translation (WMT 2018). We use several rule-based, heuristic methods to preselect sentence pairs. These sentence pairs are scored with count-based and neural systems as language and translation models. In addition to single sentence-pair scoring, we further implement a simple redundancy removing heuristic. Our best performing corpus filtering system relies on recurrent neural language models and translation models based on the transformer architecture. A model trained on 10M randomly sampled tokens reaches a performance of 9.2% BLEU on newstest2018. Using our filtering and ranking techniques we achieve 34.8% BLEU.


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The RWTH Aachen University English-German and German-English Machine Translation System for WMT 2017
Jan-Thorsten Peter | Andreas Guta | Tamer Alkhouli | Parnia Bahar | Jan Rosendahl | Nick Rossenbach | Miguel Graça | Hermann Ney
Proceedings of the Second Conference on Machine Translation

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The RWTH Aachen Machine Translation Systems for IWSLT 2017
Parnia Bahar | Jan Rosendahl | Nick Rossenbach | Hermann Ney
Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation

This work describes the Neural Machine Translation (NMT) system of the RWTH Aachen University developed for the English$German tracks of the evaluation campaign of the International Workshop on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT) 2017. We use NMT systems which are augmented by state-of-the-art extensions. Furthermore, we experiment with techniques that include data filtering, a larger vocabulary, two extensions to the attention mechanism and domain adaptation. Using these methods, we can show considerable improvements over the respective baseline systems and our IWSLT 2016 submission.