Minhan Xu


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Taking Actions Separately: A Bidirectionally-Adaptive Transfer Learning Method for Low-Resource Neural Machine Translation
Xiaolin Xing | Yu Hong | Minhan Xu | Jianmin Yao | Guodong Zhou
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Training Neural Machine Translation (NMT) models suffers from sparse parallel data, in the infrequent translation scenarios towards low-resource source languages. The existing solutions primarily concentrate on the utilization of Parent-Child (PC) transfer learning. It transfers well-trained NMT models on high-resource languages (namely Parent NMT) to low-resource languages, so as to produce Child NMT models by fine-tuning. It has been carefully demonstrated that a variety of PC variants yield significant improvements for low-resource NMT. In this paper, we intend to enhance PC-based NMT by a bidirectionally-adaptive learning strategy. Specifically, we divide inner constituents (6 transformers) of Parent encoder into two “teams”, i.e., T1 and T2. During representation learning, T1 learns to encode low-resource languages conditioned on bilingual shareable latent space. Generative adversarial network and masked language modeling are used for space-shareable encoding. On the other hand, T2 is straightforwardly transferred to low-resource languages, and fine-tuned together with T1 for low-resource translation. Briefly, T1 and T2 take actions separately for different goals. The former aims to adapt to characteristics of low-resource languages during encoding, while the latter adapts to translation experiences learned from high-resource languages. We experiment on benchmark corpora SETIMES, conducting low-resource NMT for Albanian (Sq), Macedonian (Mk), Croatian (Hr) and Romanian (Ro). Experimental results show that our method yields substantial improvements, which allows the NMT performance to reach BLEU4-scores of 62.24%, 56.93%, 50.53% and 54.65% for Sq, Mk, Hr and Ro, respectively.

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Sub-Word Alignment is Still Useful: A Vest-Pocket Method for Enhancing Low-Resource Machine Translation
Minhan Xu | Yu Hong
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

We leverage embedding duplication between aligned sub-words to extend the Parent-Child transfer learning method, so as to improve low-resource machine translation. We conduct experiments on benchmark datasets of My-En, Id-En and Tr-En translation scenarios. The test results show that our method produces substantial improvements, achieving the BLEU scores of 22.5, 28.0 and 18.1 respectively. In addition, the method is computationally efficient which reduces the consumption of training time by 63.8%, reaching the duration of 1.6 hours when training on a Tesla 16GB P100 GPU. All the models and source codes in the experiments will be made publicly available to support reproducible research.