Linlin Zhang


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Training Simultaneous Speech Translation with Robust and Random Wait-k-Tokens Strategy
Linlin Zhang | Kai Fan | Jiajun Bu | Zhongqiang Huang
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Simultaneous Speech Translation (SimulST) is a task focused on ensuring high-quality translation of speech in low-latency situations. Despite this, the modality gap (e.g., unknown word boundaries) between audio and text presents a challenge. This gap hinders the effective application of policies from simultaneous text translation (SimulMT) and compromises the performance of offline speech translation. To address this issue, we first leverage the Montreal Forced Aligner (MFA) and utilize audio transcription pairs in pre-training the acoustic encoder, and introduce a token-level cross-modal alignment that allows the wait-k policy from SimulMT to better adapt to SimulST. This token-level boundary alignment simplifies the decision-making process for predicting read/write actions, as if the decoder were directly processing text tokens. Subsequently, to optimize the SimulST task, we propose a robust and random wait-k-tokens strategy. This strategy allows a single model to meet various latency requirements and minimizes error accumulation of boundary alignment during inference. Our experiments on the MuST-C dataset show that our method achieves better trade-off between translation quality and latency.

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A Simple Concatenation can Effectively Improve Speech Translation
Linlin Zhang | Kai Fan | Boxing Chen | Luo Si
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

A triple speech translation data comprises speech, transcription, and translation. In the end-to-end paradigm, text machine translation (MT) usually plays the role of a teacher model for the speech translation (ST) via knowledge distillation. Parameter sharing with the teacher is often adopted to construct the ST model architecture, however, the two modalities are independently fed and trained via different losses. This situation does not match ST’s properties across two modalities and also limits the upper bound of the performance. Inspired by the works of video Transformer, we propose a simple unified cross-modal ST method, which concatenates speech and text as the input, and builds a teacher that can utilize both cross-modal information simultaneously. Experimental results show that in our unified ST framework, models can effectively utilize the auxiliary information from speech and text, and achieve compelling results on MuST-C datasets.


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ZJU’s IWSLT 2021 Speech Translation System
Linlin Zhang
Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2021)

In this paper, we describe Zhejiang University’s submission to the IWSLT2021 Multilingual Speech Translation Task. This task focuses on speech translation (ST) research across many non-English source languages. Participants can decide whether to work on constrained systems or unconstrained systems which can using external data. We create both cascaded and end-to-end speech translation constrained systems, using the provided data only. In the cascaded approach, we combine Conformer-based automatic speech recognition (ASR) with the Transformer-based neural machine translation (NMT). Our end-to-end direct speech translation systems use ASR pretrained encoder and multi-task decoders. The submitted systems are ensembled by different cascaded models.