This paper presents the results of the shared tasks from the 9th workshop on Asian translation (WAT2022). For the WAT2022, 8 teams submitted their translation results for the human evaluation. We also accepted 4 research papers. About 300 translation results were submitted to the automatic evaluation server, and selected submissions were manually evaluated.
Most current machine translation models are mainly trained with parallel corpora, and their translation accuracy largely depends on the quality and quantity of the corpora. Although there are billions of parallel sentences for a few language pairs, effectively dealing with most language pairs is difficult due to a lack of publicly available parallel corpora. This paper creates a large parallel corpus for English-Japanese, a language pair for which only limited resources are available, compared to such resource-rich languages as English-German. It introduces a new web-based English-Japanese parallel corpus named JParaCrawl v3.0. Our new corpus contains more than 21 million unique parallel sentence pairs, which is more than twice as many as the previous JParaCrawl v2.0 corpus. Through experiments, we empirically show how our new corpus boosts the accuracy of machine translation models on various domains. The JParaCrawl v3.0 corpus will eventually be publicly available online for research purposes.
Although a machine translation model trained with a large in-domain parallel corpus achieves remarkable results, it still works poorly when no in-domain data are available.This situation restricts the applicability of machine translation when the target domain’s data are limited. However, there is great demand for high-quality domain-specific machine translation models for many domains.We propose a framework that efficiently and effectively collects parallel sentences in a target domain from the web with the help of crowdworkers.With the collected parallel data, we can quickly adapt a machine translation model to the target domain.Our experiments show that the proposed method can collect target-domain parallel data over a few days at a reasonable cost.We tested it with five domains, and the domain-adapted model improved the BLEU scores to +19.7 by an average of +7.8 points compared to a general-purpose translation model.
This paper presents the results of the General Machine Translation Task organised as part of the Conference on Machine Translation (WMT) 2022. In the general MT task, participants were asked to build machine translation systems for any of 11 language pairs, to be evaluated on test sets consisting of four different domains. We evaluate system outputs with human annotators using two different techniques: reference-based direct assessment and (DA) and a combination of DA and scalar quality metric (DA+SQM).
This paper describes the NTT-Tohoku-TokyoTech-RIKEN (NT5) team’s submission system for the WMT’22 general translation task.This year, we focused on the English-to-Japanese and Japanese-to-English translation tracks.Our submission system consists of an ensemble of Transformer models with several extensions.We also applied data augmentation and selection techniques to obtain potentially effective training data for training individual Transformer models in the pre-training and fine-tuning scheme.Additionally, we report our trial of incorporating a reranking module and the reevaluated results of several techniques that have been recently developed and published.
It is crucial to provide an inter-sentence context in Neural Machine Translation (NMT) models for higher-quality translation. With the aim of using a simple approach to incorporate inter-sentence information, we propose mini-batch embedding (MBE) as a way to represent the features of sentences in a mini-batch. We construct a mini-batch by choosing sentences from the same document, and thus the MBE is expected to have contextual information across sentences. Here, we incorporate MBE in an NMT model, and our experiments show that the proposed method consistently outperforms the translation capabilities of strong baselines and improves writing style or terminology to fit the document’s context.
This paper presents the results of the newstranslation task, the multilingual low-resourcetranslation for Indo-European languages, thetriangular translation task, and the automaticpost-editing task organised as part of the Con-ference on Machine Translation (WMT) 2021.In the news task, participants were asked tobuild machine translation systems for any of10 language pairs, to be evaluated on test setsconsisting mainly of news stories. The taskwas also opened up to additional test suites toprobe specific aspects of translation.
This paper describes our systems that were submitted to the restricted translation task at WAT 2021. In this task, the systems are required to output translated sentences that contain all given word constraints. Our system combined input augmentation and constrained beam search algorithms. Through experiments, we found that this combination significantly improves translation accuracy and can save inference time while containing all the constraints in the output. For both En->Ja and Ja->En, our systems obtained the best evaluation performances in automatic and human evaluation.
This paper presents the results of the news translation task and the similar language translation task, both organised alongside the Conference on Machine Translation (WMT) 2020. In the news task, participants were asked to build machine translation systems for any of 11 language pairs, to be evaluated on test sets consisting mainly of news stories. The task was also opened up to additional test suites to probe specific aspects of translation. In the similar language translation task, participants built machine translation systems for translating between closely related pairs of languages.
In this paper, we describe the submission of Tohoku-AIP-NTT to the WMT’20 news translation task. We participated in this task in two language pairs and four language directions: English <–> German and English <–> Japanese. Our system consists of techniques such as back-translation and fine-tuning, which are already widely adopted in translation tasks. We attempted to develop new methods for both synthetic data filtering and reranking. However, the methods turned out to be ineffective, and they provided us with no significant improvement over the baseline. We analyze these negative results to provide insights for future studies.
Recent machine translation algorithms mainly rely on parallel corpora. However, since the availability of parallel corpora remains limited, only some resource-rich language pairs can benefit from them. We constructed a parallel corpus for English-Japanese, for which the amount of publicly available parallel corpora is still limited. We constructed the parallel corpus by broadly crawling the web and automatically aligning parallel sentences. Our collected corpus, called JParaCrawl, amassed over 8.7 million sentence pairs. We show how it includes a broader range of domains and how a neural machine translation model trained with it works as a good pre-trained model for fine-tuning specific domains. The pre-training and fine-tuning approaches achieved or surpassed performance comparable to model training from the initial state and reduced the training time. Additionally, we trained the model with an in-domain dataset and JParaCrawl to show how we achieved the best performance with them. JParaCrawl and the pre-trained models are freely available online for research purposes.
We made a test set for Japanese-to-English discourse translation to evaluate the power of context-aware machine translation. For each discourse phenomenon, we systematically collected examples where the translation of the second sentence depends on the first sentence. Compared with a previous study on test sets for English-to-French discourse translation (CITATION), we needed different approaches to make the data because Japanese has zero pronouns and represents different senses in different characters. We improved the translation accuracy using context-aware neural machine translation, and the improvement mainly reflects the betterment of the translation of zero pronouns.
Neural Machine Translation (NMT) has shown drastic improvement in its quality when translating clean input, such as text from the news domain. However, existing studies suggest that NMT still struggles with certain kinds of input with considerable noise, such as User-Generated Contents (UGC) on the Internet. To make better use of NMT for cross-cultural communication, one of the most promising directions is to develop a model that correctly handles these expressions. Though its importance has been recognized, it is still not clear as to what creates the great gap in performance between the translation of clean input and that of UGC. To answer the question, we present a new dataset, PheMT, for evaluating the robustness of MT systems against specific linguistic phenomena in Japanese-English translation. Our experiments with the created dataset revealed that not only our in-house models but even widely used off-the-shelf systems are greatly disturbed by the presence of certain phenomena.
This paper describes NTT’s submission to the WMT19 robustness task. This task mainly focuses on translating noisy text (e.g., posts on Twitter), which presents different difficulties from typical translation tasks such as news. Our submission combined techniques including utilization of a synthetic corpus, domain adaptation, and a placeholder mechanism, which significantly improved over the previous baseline. Experimental results revealed the placeholder mechanism, which temporarily replaces the non-standard tokens including emojis and emoticons with special placeholder tokens during translation, improves translation accuracy even with noisy texts.
In this paper, we describe our systems that were submitted to the translation shared tasks at WAT 2019. This year, we participated in two distinct types of subtasks, a scientific paper subtask and a timely disclosure subtask, where we only considered English-to-Japanese and Japanese-to-English translation directions. We submitted two systems (En-Ja and Ja-En) for the scientific paper subtask and two systems (Ja-En, texts, items) for the timely disclosure subtask. Three of our four systems obtained the best human evaluation performances. We also confirmed that our new additional web-crawled parallel corpus improves the performance in unconstrained settings.
This paper focuses on subword-based Neural Machine Translation (NMT). We hypothesize that in the NMT model, the appropriate subword units for the following three modules (layers) can differ: (1) the encoder embedding layer, (2) the decoder embedding layer, and (3) the decoder output layer. We find the subword based on Sennrich et al. (2016) has a feature that a large vocabulary is a superset of a small vocabulary and modify the NMT model enables the incorporation of several different subword units in a single embedding layer. We refer these small subword features as hierarchical subword features. To empirically investigate our assumption, we compare the performance of several different subword units and hierarchical subword features for both the encoder and decoder embedding layers. We confirmed that incorporating hierarchical subword features in the encoder consistently improves BLEU scores on the IWSLT evaluation datasets.
This paper describes NTT’s neural machine translation systems submitted to the WMT 2018 English-German and German-English news translation tasks. Our submission has three main components: the Transformer model, corpus cleaning, and right-to-left n-best re-ranking techniques. Through our experiments, we identified two keys for improving accuracy: filtering noisy training sentences and right-to-left re-ranking. We also found that the Transformer model requires more training data than the RNN-based model, and the RNN-based model sometimes achieves better accuracy than the Transformer model when the corpus is small.
This paper investigates the construction of a strong baseline based on general purpose sequence-to-sequence models for constituency parsing. We incorporate several techniques that were mainly developed in natural language generation tasks, e.g., machine translation and summarization, and demonstrate that the sequence-to-sequence model achieves the current top-notch parsers’ performance (almost) without requiring any explicit task-specific knowledge or architecture of constituent parsing.
Training of neural machine translation (NMT) models usually uses mini-batches for efficiency purposes. During the mini-batched training process, it is necessary to pad shorter sentences in a mini-batch to be equal in length to the longest sentence therein for efficient computation. Previous work has noted that sorting the corpus based on the sentence length before making mini-batches reduces the amount of padding and increases the processing speed. However, despite the fact that mini-batch creation is an essential step in NMT training, widely used NMT toolkits implement disparate strategies for doing so, which have not been empirically validated or compared. This work investigates mini-batch creation strategies with experiments over two different datasets. Our results suggest that the choice of a mini-batch creation strategy has a large effect on NMT training and some length-based sorting strategies do not always work well compared with simple shuffling.
In this year, we participated in four translation subtasks at WAT 2017. Our model structure is quite simple but we used it with well-tuned hyper-parameters, leading to a significant improvement compared to the previous state-of-the-art system. We also tried to make use of the unreliable part of the provided parallel corpus by back-translating and making a synthetic corpus. Our submitted system achieved the new state-of-the-art performance in terms of the BLEU score, as well as human evaluation.