Mikko Aulamo


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A New Massive Multilingual Dataset for High-Performance Language Technologies
Ona de Gibert | Graeme Nail | Nikolay Arefyev | Marta Bañón | Jelmer van der Linde | Shaoxiong Ji | Jaume Zaragoza-Bernabeu | Mikko Aulamo | Gema Ramírez-Sánchez | Andrey Kutuzov | Sampo Pyysalo | Stephan Oepen | Jörg Tiedemann
Proceedings of the 2024 Joint International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC-COLING 2024)

We present the HPLT (High Performance Language Technologies) language resources, a new massive multilingual dataset including both monolingual and bilingual corpora extracted from CommonCrawl and previously unused web crawls from the Internet Archive. We describe our methods for data acquisition, management and processing of large corpora, which rely on open-source software tools and high-performance computing. Our monolingual collection focuses on low- to medium-resourced languages and covers 75 languages and a total of ≈ 5.6 trillion word tokens de-duplicated on the document level. Our English-centric parallel corpus is derived from its monolingual counterpart and covers 18 language pairs and more than 96 million aligned sentence pairs with roughly 1.4 billion English tokens. The HPLT language resources are one of the largest open text corpora ever released, providing a great resource for language modeling and machine translation training. We publicly release the corpora, the software, and the tools used in this work.


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Unsupervised Feature Selection for Effective Parallel Corpus Filtering
Mikko Aulamo | Ona de Gibert | Sami Virpioja | Jörg Tiedemann
Proceedings of the 24th Annual Conference of the European Association for Machine Translation

This work presents an unsupervised method of selecting filters and threshold values for the OpusFilter parallel corpus cleaning toolbox. The method clusters sentence pairs into noisy and clean categories and uses the features of the noisy cluster center as filtering parameters. Our approach utilizes feature importance analysis to disregard filters that do not differentiate between clean and noisy data. A randomly sampled subset of a given corpus is used for filter selection and ineffective filters are not run for the full corpus. We use a set of automatic evaluation metrics to assess the quality of translation models trained with data filtered by our method and data filtered with OpusFilter’s default parameters. The trained models cover English-German and English-Ukrainian in both directions. The proposed method outperforms the default parameters in all translation directions for almost all evaluation metrics.

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HPLT: High Performance Language Technologies
Mikko Aulamo | Nikolay Bogoychev | Shaoxiong Ji | Graeme Nail | Gema Ramírez-Sánchez | Jörg Tiedemann | Jelmer van der Linde | Jaume Zaragoza
Proceedings of the 24th Annual Conference of the European Association for Machine Translation

We describe the High Performance Language Technologies project (HPLT), a 3-year EU-funded project started in September 2022. HPLT will build a space combining petabytes of natural language data with large-scale model training. It will derive monolingual and bilingual datasets from the Internet Archive and CommonCrawl and build efficient and solid machine translation (MT) as well as large language models (LLMs). HPLT aims at providing free, sustainable and reusable datasets, models and workflows at scale using high-performance computing (HPC).

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Four Approaches to Low-Resource Multilingual NMT: The Helsinki Submission to the AmericasNLP 2023 Shared Task
Ona De Gibert | Raúl Vázquez | Mikko Aulamo | Yves Scherrer | Sami Virpioja | Jörg Tiedemann
Proceedings of the Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Indigenous Languages of the Americas (AmericasNLP)

The Helsinki-NLP team participated in the AmericasNLP 2023 Shared Task with 6 submissions for all 11 language pairs arising from 4 different multilingual systems. We provide a detailed look at the work that went into collecting and preprocessing the data that led to our submissions. We explore various setups for multilingual Neural Machine Translation (NMT), namely knowledge distillation and transfer learning, multilingual NMT including a high-resource language (English), language-specific fine-tuning, and multilingual NMT exclusively using low-resource data. Our multilingual Model B ranks first in 4 out of the 11 language pairs.


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Boosting Neural Machine Translation from Finnish to Northern Sámi with Rule-Based Backtranslation
Mikko Aulamo | Sami Virpioja | Yves Scherrer | Jörg Tiedemann
Proceedings of the 23rd Nordic Conference on Computational Linguistics (NoDaLiDa)

We consider a low-resource translation task from Finnish into Northern Sámi. Collecting all available parallel data between the languages, we obtain around 30,000 sentence pairs. However, there exists a significantly larger monolingual Northern Sámi corpus, as well as a rule-based machine translation (RBMT) system between the languages. To make the best use of the monolingual data in a neural machine translation (NMT) system, we use the backtranslation approach to create synthetic parallel data from it using both NMT and RBMT systems. Evaluating the results on an in-domain test set and a small out-of-domain set, we find that the RBMT backtranslation outperforms NMT backtranslation clearly for the out-of-domain test set, but also slightly for the in-domain data, for which the NMT backtranslation model provided clearly better BLEU scores than the RBMT. In addition, combining both backtranslated data sets improves the RBMT approach only for the in-domain test set. This suggests that the RBMT system provides general-domain knowledge that cannot be found from the relative small parallel training data.


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The University of Helsinki Submission to the IWSLT2020 Offline SpeechTranslation Task
Raúl Vázquez | Mikko Aulamo | Umut Sulubacak | Jörg Tiedemann
Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation

This paper describes the University of Helsinki Language Technology group’s participation in the IWSLT 2020 offline speech translation task, addressing the translation of English audio into German text. In line with this year’s task objective, we train both cascade and end-to-end systems for spoken language translation. We opt for an end-to-end multitasking architecture with shared internal representations and a cascade approach that follows a standard procedure consisting of ASR, correction, and MT stages. We also describe the experiments that served as a basis for the submitted systems. Our experiments reveal that multitasking training with shared internal representations is not only possible but allows for knowledge-transfer across modalities.

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OpusTools and Parallel Corpus Diagnostics
Mikko Aulamo | Umut Sulubacak | Sami Virpioja | Jörg Tiedemann
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

This paper introduces OpusTools, a package for downloading and processing parallel corpora included in the OPUS corpus collection. The package implements tools for accessing compressed data in their archived release format and make it possible to easily convert between common formats. OpusTools also includes tools for language identification and data filtering as well as tools for importing data from various sources into the OPUS format. We show the use of these tools in parallel corpus creation and data diagnostics. The latter is especially useful for the identification of potential problems and errors in the extensive data set. Using these tools, we can now monitor the validity of data sets and improve the overall quality and consitency of the data collection.

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The FISKMÖ Project: Resources and Tools for Finnish-Swedish Machine Translation and Cross-Linguistic Research
Jörg Tiedemann | Tommi Nieminen | Mikko Aulamo | Jenna Kanerva | Akseli Leino | Filip Ginter | Niko Papula
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

This paper presents FISKMÖ, a project that focuses on the development of resources and tools for cross-linguistic research and machine translation between Finnish and Swedish. The goal of the project is the compilation of a massive parallel corpus out of translated material collected from web sources, public and private organisations and language service providers in Finland with its two official languages. The project also aims at the development of open and freely accessible translation services for those two languages for the general purpose and for domain-specific use. We have released new data sets with over 3 million translation units, a benchmark test set for MT development, pre-trained neural MT models with high coverage and competitive performance and a self-contained MT plugin for a popular CAT tool. The latter enables offline translation without dependencies on external services making it possible to work with highly sensitive data without compromising security concerns.

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OpusFilter: A Configurable Parallel Corpus Filtering Toolbox
Mikko Aulamo | Sami Virpioja | Jörg Tiedemann
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations

This paper introduces OpusFilter, a flexible and modular toolbox for filtering parallel corpora. It implements a number of components based on heuristic filters, language identification libraries, character-based language models, and word alignment tools, and it can easily be extended with custom filters. Bitext segments can be ranked according to their quality or domain match using single features or a logistic regression model that can be trained without manually labeled training data. We demonstrate the effectiveness of OpusFilter on the example of a Finnish-English news translation task based on noisy web-crawled training data. Applying our tool leads to improved translation quality while significantly reducing the size of the training data, also clearly outperforming an alternative ranking given in the crawled data set. Furthermore, we show the ability of OpusFilter to perform data selection for domain adaptation.


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The OPUS Resource Repository: An Open Package for Creating Parallel Corpora and Machine Translation Services
Mikko Aulamo | Jörg Tiedemann
Proceedings of the 22nd Nordic Conference on Computational Linguistics

This paper presents a flexible and powerful system for creating parallel corpora and for running neural machine translation services. Our package provides a scalable data repository backend that offers transparent data pre-processing pipelines and automatic alignment procedures that facilitate the compilation of extensive parallel data sets from a variety of sources. Moreover, we develop a web-based interface that constitutes an intuitive frontend for end-users of the platform. The whole system can easily be distributed over virtual machines and implements a sophisticated permission system with secure connections and a flexible database for storing arbitrary metadata. Furthermore, we also provide an interface for neural machine translation that can run as a service on virtual machines, which also incorporates a connection to the data repository software.


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Paraphrase Detection on Noisy Subtitles in Six Languages
Eetu Sjöblom | Mathias Creutz | Mikko Aulamo
Proceedings of the 2018 EMNLP Workshop W-NUT: The 4th Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text

We perform automatic paraphrase detection on subtitle data from the Opusparcus corpus comprising six European languages: German, English, Finnish, French, Russian, and Swedish. We train two types of supervised sentence embedding models: a word-averaging (WA) model and a gated recurrent averaging network (GRAN) model. We find out that GRAN outperforms WA and is more robust to noisy training data. Better results are obtained with more and noisier data than less and cleaner data. Additionally, we experiment on other datasets, without reaching the same level of performance, because of domain mismatch between training and test data.