Jiatao Gu


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Textless Speech-to-Speech Translation on Real Data
Ann Lee | Hongyu Gong | Paul-Ambroise Duquenne | Holger Schwenk | Peng-Jen Chen | Changhan Wang | Sravya Popuri | Yossi Adi | Juan Pino | Jiatao Gu | Wei-Ning Hsu
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

We present a textless speech-to-speech translation (S2ST) system that can translate speech from one language into another language and can be built without the need of any text data. Different from existing work in the literature, we tackle the challenge in modeling multi-speaker target speech and train the systems with real-world S2ST data. The key to our approach is a self-supervised unit-based speech normalization technique, which finetunes a pre-trained speech encoder with paired audios from multiple speakers and a single reference speaker to reduce the variations due to accents, while preserving the lexical content. With only 10 minutes of paired data for speech normalization, we obtain on average 3.2 BLEU gain when training the S2ST model on the VoxPopuli S2ST dataset, compared to a baseline trained on un-normalized speech target. We also incorporate automatically mined S2ST data and show an additional 2.0 BLEU gain. To our knowledge, we are the first to establish a textless S2ST technique that can be trained with real-world data and works for multiple language pairs.

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IDPG: An Instance-Dependent Prompt Generation Method
Zhuofeng Wu | Sinong Wang | Jiatao Gu | Rui Hou | Yuxiao Dong | V.G.Vinod Vydiswaran | Hao Ma
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Prompt tuning is a new, efficient NLP transfer learning paradigm that adds a task-specific prompt in each input instance during the model training stage. It freezes the pre-trained language model and only optimizes a few task-specific prompts. In this paper, we propose a conditional prompt generation method to generate prompts for each input instance, referred to as the Instance-Dependent Prompt Generation (IDPG). Unlike traditional prompt tuning methods that use a fixed prompt, IDPG introduces a lightweight and trainable component to generate prompts based on each input sentence. Extensive experiments on ten natural language understanding (NLU) tasks show that the proposed strategy consistently outperforms various prompt tuning baselines and is on par with other efficient transfer learning methods such as Compacter while tuning far fewer model parameters.

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Unified Speech-Text Pre-training for Speech Translation and Recognition
Yun Tang | Hongyu Gong | Ning Dong | Changhan Wang | Wei-Ning Hsu | Jiatao Gu | Alexei Baevski | Xian Li | Abdelrahman Mohamed | Michael Auli | Juan Pino
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

In this work, we describe a method to jointly pre-train speech and text in an encoder-decoder modeling framework for speech translation and recognition. The proposed method utilizes multi-task learning to integrate four self-supervised and supervised subtasks for cross modality learning. A self-supervised speech subtask, which leverages unlabelled speech data, and a (self-)supervised text to text subtask, which makes use of abundant text training data, take up the majority of the pre-training time. Two auxiliary supervised speech tasks are included to unify speech and text modeling space. Detailed analysis reveals learning interference among subtasks. In order to alleviate the subtask interference, two pre-training configurations are proposed for speech translation and speech recognition respectively. Our experiments show the proposed method can effectively fuse speech and text information into one model. It achieves between 1.7 and 2.3 BLEU improvement above the state of the art on the MuST-C speech translation dataset and comparable WERs to wav2vec 2.0 on the Librispeech speech recognition task.

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Direct Speech-to-Speech Translation With Discrete Units
Ann Lee | Peng-Jen Chen | Changhan Wang | Jiatao Gu | Sravya Popuri | Xutai Ma | Adam Polyak | Yossi Adi | Qing He | Yun Tang | Juan Pino | Wei-Ning Hsu
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We present a direct speech-to-speech translation (S2ST) model that translates speech from one language to speech in another language without relying on intermediate text generation. We tackle the problem by first applying a self-supervised discrete speech encoder on the target speech and then training a sequence-to-sequence speech-to-unit translation (S2UT) model to predict the discrete representations of the target speech. When target text transcripts are available, we design a joint speech and text training framework that enables the model to generate dual modality output (speech and text) simultaneously in the same inference pass. Experiments on the Fisher Spanish-English dataset show that the proposed framework yields improvement of 6.7 BLEU compared with a baseline direct S2ST model that predicts spectrogram features. When trained without any text transcripts, our model performance is comparable to models that predict spectrograms and are trained with text supervision, showing the potential of our system for translation between unwritten languages.

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Non-Autoregressive Sequence Generation
Jiatao Gu | Xu Tan
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Tutorial Abstracts

Non-autoregressive sequence generation (NAR) attempts to generate the entire or partial output sequences in parallel to speed up the generation process and avoid potential issues (e.g., label bias, exposure bias) in autoregressive generation. While it has received much research attention and has been applied in many sequence generation tasks in natural language and speech, naive NAR models still face many challenges to close the performance gap between state-of-the-art autoregressive models because of a lack of modeling power. In this tutorial, we will provide a thorough introduction and review of non-autoregressive sequence generation, in four sections: 1) Background, which covers the motivation of NAR generation, the problem definition, the evaluation protocol, and the comparison with standard autoregressive generation approaches. 2) Method, which includes different aspects: model architecture, objective function, training data, learning paradigm, and additional inference tricks. 3) Application, which covers different tasks in text and speech generation, and some advanced topics in applications. 4) Conclusion, in which we describe several research challenges and discuss the potential future research directions. We hope this tutorial can serve both academic researchers and industry practitioners working on non-autoregressive sequence generation.

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Detection, Disambiguation, Re-ranking: Autoregressive Entity Linking as a Multi-Task Problem
Khalil Mrini | Shaoliang Nie | Jiatao Gu | Sinong Wang | Maziar Sanjabi | Hamed Firooz
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

We propose an autoregressive entity linking model, that is trained with two auxiliary tasks, and learns to re-rank generated samples at inference time. Our proposed novelties address two weaknesses in the literature. First, a recent method proposes to learn mention detection and then entity candidate selection, but relies on predefined sets of candidates. We use encoder-decoder autoregressive entity linking in order to bypass this need, and propose to train mention detection as an auxiliary task instead. Second, previous work suggests that re-ranking could help correct prediction errors. We add a new, auxiliary task, match prediction, to learn re-ranking. Without the use of a knowledge base or candidate sets, our model sets a new state of the art in two benchmark datasets of entity linking: COMETA in the biomedical domain, and AIDA-CoNLL in the news domain. We show through ablation studies that each of the two auxiliary tasks increases performance, and that re-ranking is an important factor to the increase. Finally, our low-resource experimental results suggest that performance on the main task benefits from the knowledge learned by the auxiliary tasks, and not just from the additional training data.


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Lightweight Adapter Tuning for Multilingual Speech Translation
Hang Le | Juan Pino | Changhan Wang | Jiatao Gu | Didier Schwab | Laurent Besacier
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Adapter modules were recently introduced as an efficient alternative to fine-tuning in NLP. Adapter tuning consists in freezing pre-trained parameters of a model and injecting lightweight modules between layers, resulting in the addition of only a small number of task-specific trainable parameters. While adapter tuning was investigated for multilingual neural machine translation, this paper proposes a comprehensive analysis of adapters for multilingual speech translation (ST). Starting from different pre-trained models (a multilingual ST trained on parallel data or a multilingual BART (mBART) trained on non parallel multilingual data), we show that adapters can be used to: (a) efficiently specialize ST to specific language pairs with a low extra cost in terms of parameters, and (b) transfer from an automatic speech recognition (ASR) task and an mBART pre-trained model to a multilingual ST task. Experiments show that adapter tuning offer competitive results to full fine-tuning, while being much more parameter-efficient.

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Fully Non-autoregressive Neural Machine Translation: Tricks of the Trade
Jiatao Gu | Xiang Kong
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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Detecting Hallucinated Content in Conditional Neural Sequence Generation
Chunting Zhou | Graham Neubig | Jiatao Gu | Mona Diab | Francisco Guzmán | Luke Zettlemoyer | Marjan Ghazvininejad
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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Multilingual Translation from Denoising Pre-Training
Yuqing Tang | Chau Tran | Xian Li | Peng-Jen Chen | Naman Goyal | Vishrav Chaudhary | Jiatao Gu | Angela Fan
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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fairseq Sˆ2: A Scalable and Integrable Speech Synthesis Toolkit
Changhan Wang | Wei-Ning Hsu | Yossi Adi | Adam Polyak | Ann Lee | Peng-Jen Chen | Jiatao Gu | Juan Pino
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

This paper presents fairseq Sˆ2, a fairseq extension for speech synthesis. We implement a number of autoregressive (AR) and non-AR text-to-speech models, and their multi-speaker variants. To enable training speech synthesis models with less curated data, a number of preprocessing tools are built and their importance is shown empirically. To facilitate faster iteration of development and analysis, a suite of automatic metrics is included. Apart from the features added specifically for this extension, fairseq Sˆ2 also benefits from the scalability offered by fairseq and can be easily integrated with other state-of-the-art systems provided in this framework. The code, documentation, and pre-trained models will be made available at https://github.com/pytorch/fairseq/tree/master/examples/speech_synthesis.

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The Source-Target Domain Mismatch Problem in Machine Translation
Jiajun Shen | Peng-Jen Chen | Matthew Le | Junxian He | Jiatao Gu | Myle Ott | Michael Auli | Marc’Aurelio Ranzato
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Main Volume

While we live in an increasingly interconnected world, different places still exhibit strikingly different cultures and many events we experience in our every day life pertain only to the specific place we live in. As a result, people often talk about different things in different parts of the world. In this work we study the effect of local context in machine translation and postulate that this causes the domains of the source and target language to greatly mismatch. We first formalize the concept of source-target domain mismatch, propose a metric to quantify it, and provide empirical evidence for its existence. We conclude with an empirical study of how source-target domain mismatch affects training of machine translation systems on low resource languages. While this may severely affect back-translation, the degradation can be alleviated by combining back-translation with self-training and by increasing the amount of target side monolingual data.

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Multilingual Neural Machine Translation with Deep Encoder and Multiple Shallow Decoders
Xiang Kong | Adithya Renduchintala | James Cross | Yuqing Tang | Jiatao Gu | Xian Li
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Main Volume

Recent work in multilingual translation advances translation quality surpassing bilingual baselines using deep transformer models with increased capacity. However, the extra latency and memory costs introduced by this approach may make it unacceptable for efficiency-constrained applications. It has recently been shown for bilingual translation that using a deep encoder and shallow decoder (DESD) can reduce inference latency while maintaining translation quality, so we study similar speed-accuracy trade-offs for multilingual translation. We find that for many-to-one translation we can indeed increase decoder speed without sacrificing quality using this approach, but for one-to-many translation, shallow decoders cause a clear quality drop. To ameliorate this drop, we propose a deep encoder with multiple shallow decoders (DEMSD) where each shallow decoder is responsible for a disjoint subset of target languages. Specifically, the DEMSD model with 2-layer decoders is able to obtain a 1.8x speedup on average compared to a standard transformer model with no drop in translation quality.


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Ebrahim Ansari | Amittai Axelrod | Nguyen Bach | Ondřej Bojar | Roldano Cattoni | Fahim Dalvi | Nadir Durrani | Marcello Federico | Christian Federmann | Jiatao Gu | Fei Huang | Kevin Knight | Xutai Ma | Ajay Nagesh | Matteo Negri | Jan Niehues | Juan Pino | Elizabeth Salesky | Xing Shi | Sebastian Stüker | Marco Turchi | Alexander Waibel | Changhan Wang
Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation

The evaluation campaign of the International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2020) featured this year six challenge tracks: (i) Simultaneous speech translation, (ii) Video speech translation, (iii) Offline speech translation, (iv) Conversational speech translation, (v) Open domain translation, and (vi) Non-native speech translation. A total of teams participated in at least one of the tracks. This paper introduces each track’s goal, data and evaluation metrics, and reports the results of the received submissions.

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SIMULEVAL: An Evaluation Toolkit for Simultaneous Translation
Xutai Ma | Mohammad Javad Dousti | Changhan Wang | Jiatao Gu | Juan Pino
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

Simultaneous translation on both text and speech focuses on a real-time and low-latency scenario where the model starts translating before reading the complete source input. Evaluating simultaneous translation models is more complex than offline models because the latency is another factor to consider in addition to translation quality. The research community, despite its growing focus on novel modeling approaches to simultaneous translation, currently lacks a universal evaluation procedure. Therefore, we present SimulEval, an easy-to-use and general evaluation toolkit for both simultaneous text and speech translation. A server-client scheme is introduced to create a simultaneous translation scenario, where the server sends source input and receives predictions for evaluation and the client executes customized policies. Given a policy, it automatically performs simultaneous decoding and collectively reports several popular latency metrics. We also adapt latency metrics from text simultaneous translation to the speech task. Additionally, SimulEval is equipped with a visualization interface to provide better understanding of the simultaneous decoding process of a system. SimulEval has already been extensively used for the IWSLT 2020 shared task on simultaneous speech translation. Code will be released upon publication.

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Dual-decoder Transformer for Joint Automatic Speech Recognition and Multilingual Speech Translation
Hang Le | Juan Pino | Changhan Wang | Jiatao Gu | Didier Schwab | Laurent Besacier
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

We introduce dual-decoder Transformer, a new model architecture that jointly performs automatic speech recognition (ASR) and multilingual speech translation (ST). Our models are based on the original Transformer architecture (Vaswani et al., 2017) but consist of two decoders, each responsible for one task (ASR or ST). Our major contribution lies in how these decoders interact with each other: one decoder can attend to different information sources from the other via a dual-attention mechanism. We propose two variants of these architectures corresponding to two different levels of dependencies between the decoders, called the parallel and cross dual-decoder Transformers, respectively. Extensive experiments on the MuST-C dataset show that our models outperform the previously-reported highest translation performance in the multilingual settings, and outperform as well bilingual one-to-one results. Furthermore, our parallel models demonstrate no trade-off between ASR and ST compared to the vanilla multi-task architecture. Our code and pre-trained models are available at https://github.com/formiel/speech-translation.

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Addressing Posterior Collapse with Mutual Information for Improved Variational Neural Machine Translation
Arya D. McCarthy | Xian Li | Jiatao Gu | Ning Dong
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

This paper proposes a simple and effective approach to address the problem of posterior collapse in conditional variational autoencoders (CVAEs). It thus improves performance of machine translation models that use noisy or monolingual data, as well as in conventional settings. Extending Transformer and conditional VAEs, our proposed latent variable model measurably prevents posterior collapse by (1) using a modified evidence lower bound (ELBO) objective which promotes mutual information between the latent variable and the target, and (2) guiding the latent variable with an auxiliary bag-of-words prediction task. As a result, the proposed model yields improved translation quality compared to existing variational NMT models on WMT Ro↔En and De↔En. With latent variables being effectively utilized, our model demonstrates improved robustness over non-latent Transformer in handling uncertainty: exploiting noisy source-side monolingual data (up to +3.2 BLEU), and training with weakly aligned web-mined parallel data (up to +4.7 BLEU).

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CoVoST: A Diverse Multilingual Speech-To-Text Translation Corpus
Changhan Wang | Juan Pino | Anne Wu | Jiatao Gu
Proceedings of the 12th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Spoken language translation has recently witnessed a resurgence in popularity, thanks to the development of end-to-end models and the creation of new corpora, such as Augmented LibriSpeech and MuST-C. Existing datasets involve language pairs with English as a source language, involve very specific domains or are low resource. We introduce CoVoST, a multilingual speech-to-text translation corpus from 11 languages into English, diversified with over 11,000 speakers and over 60 accents. We describe the dataset creation methodology and provide empirical evidence of the quality of the data. We also provide initial benchmarks, including, to our knowledge, the first end-to-end many-to-one multilingual models for spoken language translation. CoVoST is released under CC0 license and free to use. We also provide additional evaluation data derived from Tatoeba under CC licenses.

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Multilingual Denoising Pre-training for Neural Machine Translation
Yinhan Liu | Jiatao Gu | Naman Goyal | Xian Li | Sergey Edunov | Marjan Ghazvininejad | Mike Lewis | Luke Zettlemoyer
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 8

This paper demonstrates that multilingual denoising pre-training produces significant performance gains across a wide variety of machine translation (MT) tasks. We present mBART—a sequence-to-sequence denoising auto-encoder pre-trained on large-scale monolingual corpora in many languages using the BART objective (Lewis et al., 2019). mBART is the first method for pre-training a complete sequence-to-sequence model by denoising full texts in multiple languages, whereas previous approaches have focused only on the encoder, decoder, or reconstructing parts of the text. Pre-training a complete model allows it to be directly fine-tuned for supervised (both sentence-level and document-level) and unsupervised machine translation, with no task- specific modifications. We demonstrate that adding mBART initialization produces performance gains in all but the highest-resource settings, including up to 12 BLEU points for low resource MT and over 5 BLEU points for many document-level and unsupervised models. We also show that it enables transfer to language pairs with no bi-text or that were not in the pre-training corpus, and present extensive analysis of which factors contribute the most to effective pre-training.1

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Facebook AI’s WMT20 News Translation Task Submission
Peng-Jen Chen | Ann Lee | Changhan Wang | Naman Goyal | Angela Fan | Mary Williamson | Jiatao Gu
Proceedings of the Fifth Conference on Machine Translation

This paper describes Facebook AI’s submission to WMT20 shared news translation task. We focus on the low resource setting and participate in two language pairs, Tamil <-> English and Inuktitut <-> English, where there are limited out-of-domain bitext and monolingual data. We approach the low resource problem using two main strategies, leveraging all available data and adapting the system to the target news domain. We explore techniques that leverage bitext and monolingual data from all languages, such as self-supervised model pretraining, multilingual models, data augmentation, and reranking. To better adapt the translation system to the test domain, we explore dataset tagging and fine-tuning on in-domain data. We observe that different techniques provide varied improvements based on the available data of the language pair. Based on the finding, we integrate these techniques into one training pipeline. For En->Ta, we explore an unconstrained setup with additional Tamil bitext and monolingual data and show that further improvement can be obtained. On the test set, our best submitted systems achieve 21.5 and 13.7 BLEU for Ta->En and En->Ta respectively, and 27.9 and 13.0 for Iu->En and En->Iu respectively.


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VizSeq: a visual analysis toolkit for text generation tasks
Changhan Wang | Anirudh Jain | Danlu Chen | Jiatao Gu
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP): System Demonstrations

Automatic evaluation of text generation tasks (e.g. machine translation, text summarization, image captioning and video description) usually relies heavily on task-specific metrics, such as BLEU and ROUGE. They, however, are abstract numbers and are not perfectly aligned with human assessment. This suggests inspecting detailed examples as a complement to identify system error patterns. In this paper, we present VizSeq, a visual analysis toolkit for instance-level and corpus-level system evaluation on a wide variety of text generation tasks. It supports multimodal sources and multiple text references, providing visualization in Jupyter notebook or a web app interface. It can be used locally or deployed onto public servers for centralized data hosting and benchmarking. It covers most common n-gram based metrics accelerated with multiprocessing, and also provides latest embedding-based metrics such as BERTScore.

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Harnessing Indirect Training Data for End-to-End Automatic Speech Translation: Tricks of the Trade
Juan Pino | Liezl Puzon | Jiatao Gu | Xutai Ma | Arya D. McCarthy | Deepak Gopinath
Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation

For automatic speech translation (AST), end-to-end approaches are outperformed by cascaded models that transcribe with automatic speech recognition (ASR), then trans- late with machine translation (MT). A major cause of the performance gap is that, while existing AST corpora are small, massive datasets exist for both the ASR and MT subsystems. In this work, we evaluate several data augmentation and pretraining approaches for AST, by comparing all on the same datasets. Simple data augmentation by translating ASR transcripts proves most effective on the English–French augmented LibriSpeech dataset, closing the performance gap from 8.2 to 1.4 BLEU, compared to a very strong cascade that could directly utilize copious ASR and MT data. The same end-to-end approach plus fine-tuning closes the gap on the English–Romanian MuST-C dataset from 6.7 to 3.7 BLEU. In addition to these results, we present practical rec- ommendations for augmentation and pretraining approaches. Finally, we decrease the performance gap to 0.01 BLEU us- ing a Transformer-based architecture.

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Insertion-based Decoding with Automatically Inferred Generation Order
Jiatao Gu | Qi Liu | Kyunghyun Cho
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 7

Conventional neural autoregressive decoding commonly assumes a fixed left-to-right generation order, which may be sub-optimal. In this work, we propose a novel decoding algorithm— InDIGO—which supports flexible sequence generation in arbitrary orders through insertion operations. We extend Transformer, a state-of-the-art sequence generation model, to efficiently implement the proposed approach, enabling it to be trained with either a pre-defined generation order or adaptive orders obtained from beam-search. Experiments on four real-world tasks, including word order recovery, machine translation, image caption, and code generation, demonstrate that our algorithm can generate sequences following arbitrary orders, while achieving competitive or even better performance compared with the conventional left-to-right generation. The generated sequences show that InDIGO adopts adaptive generation orders based on input information.

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Improved Zero-shot Neural Machine Translation via Ignoring Spurious Correlations
Jiatao Gu | Yong Wang | Kyunghyun Cho | Victor O.K. Li
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Zero-shot translation, translating between language pairs on which a Neural Machine Translation (NMT) system has never been trained, is an emergent property when training the system in multilingual settings. However, naive training for zero-shot NMT easily fails, and is sensitive to hyper-parameter setting. The performance typically lags far behind the more conventional pivot-based approach which translates twice using a third language as a pivot. In this work, we address the degeneracy problem due to capturing spurious correlations by quantitatively analyzing the mutual information between language IDs of the source and decoded sentences. Inspired by this analysis, we propose to use two simple but effective approaches: (1) decoder pre-training; (2) back-translation. These methods show significant improvement (4 22 BLEU points) over the vanilla zero-shot translation on three challenging multilingual datasets, and achieve similar or better results than the pivot-based approach.


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Universal Neural Machine Translation for Extremely Low Resource Languages
Jiatao Gu | Hany Hassan | Jacob Devlin | Victor O.K. Li
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long Papers)

In this paper, we propose a new universal machine translation approach focusing on languages with a limited amount of parallel data. Our proposed approach utilizes a transfer-learning approach to share lexical and sentence level representations across multiple source languages into one target language. The lexical part is shared through a Universal Lexical Representation to support multi-lingual word-level sharing. The sentence-level sharing is represented by a model of experts from all source languages that share the source encoders with all other languages. This enables the low-resource language to utilize the lexical and sentence representations of the higher resource languages. Our approach is able to achieve 23 BLEU on Romanian-English WMT2016 using a tiny parallel corpus of 6k sentences, compared to the 18 BLEU of strong baseline system which uses multi-lingual training and back-translation. Furthermore, we show that the proposed approach can achieve almost 20 BLEU on the same dataset through fine-tuning a pre-trained multi-lingual system in a zero-shot setting.

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Meta-Learning for Low-Resource Neural Machine Translation
Jiatao Gu | Yong Wang | Yun Chen | Victor O. K. Li | Kyunghyun Cho
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

In this paper, we propose to extend the recently introduced model-agnostic meta-learning algorithm (MAML, Finn, et al., 2017) for low-resource neural machine translation (NMT). We frame low-resource translation as a meta-learning problem where we learn to adapt to low-resource languages based on multilingual high-resource language tasks. We use the universal lexical representation (Gu et al., 2018b) to overcome the input-output mismatch across different languages. We evaluate the proposed meta-learning strategy using eighteen European languages (Bg, Cs, Da, De, El, Es, Et, Fr, Hu, It, Lt, Nl, Pl, Pt, Sk, Sl, Sv and Ru) as source tasks and five diverse languages (Ro,Lv, Fi, Tr and Ko) as target tasks. We show that the proposed approach significantly outperforms the multilingual, transfer learning based approach (Zoph et al., 2016) and enables us to train a competitive NMT system with only a fraction of training examples. For instance, the proposed approach can achieve as high as 22.04 BLEU on Romanian-English WMT’16 by seeing only 16,000 translated words (~600 parallel sentences)


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Trainable Greedy Decoding for Neural Machine Translation
Jiatao Gu | Kyunghyun Cho | Victor O.K. Li
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Recent research in neural machine translation has largely focused on two aspects; neural network architectures and end-to-end learning algorithms. The problem of decoding, however, has received relatively little attention from the research community. In this paper, we solely focus on the problem of decoding given a trained neural machine translation model. Instead of trying to build a new decoding algorithm for any specific decoding objective, we propose the idea of trainable decoding algorithm in which we train a decoding algorithm to find a translation that maximizes an arbitrary decoding objective. More specifically, we design an actor that observes and manipulates the hidden state of the neural machine translation decoder and propose to train it using a variant of deterministic policy gradient. We extensively evaluate the proposed algorithm using four language pairs and two decoding objectives and show that we can indeed train a trainable greedy decoder that generates a better translation (in terms of a target decoding objective) with minimal computational overhead.

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Learning to Translate in Real-time with Neural Machine Translation
Jiatao Gu | Graham Neubig | Kyunghyun Cho | Victor O.K. Li
Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Volume 1, Long Papers

Translating in real-time, a.k.a.simultaneous translation, outputs translation words before the input sentence ends, which is a challenging problem for conventional machine translation methods. We propose a neural machine translation (NMT) framework for simultaneous translation in which an agent learns to make decisions on when to translate from the interaction with a pre-trained NMT environment. To trade off quality and delay, we extensively explore various targets for delay and design a method for beam-search applicable in the simultaneous MT setting. Experiments against state-of-the-art baselines on two language pairs demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed framework both quantitatively and qualitatively.


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Incorporating Copying Mechanism in Sequence-to-Sequence Learning
Jiatao Gu | Zhengdong Lu | Hang Li | Victor O.K. Li
Proceedings of the 54th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)


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Efficient Learning for Undirected Topic Models
Jiatao Gu | Victor O.K. Li
Proceedings of the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 7th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)