Naman Goyal


pdf bib
How Robust is Neural Machine Translation to Language Imbalance in Multilingual Tokenizer Training?
Shiyue Zhang | Vishrav Chaudhary | Naman Goyal | James Cross | Guillaume Wenzek | Mohit Bansal | Francisco Guzman
Proceedings of the 15th biennial conference of the Association for Machine Translation in the Americas (Volume 1: Research Track)

A multilingual tokenizer is a fundamental component of multilingual neural machine translation. It is trained from a multilingual corpus. Since a skewed data distribution is considered to be harmful, a sampling strategy is usually used to balance languages in the corpus. However, few works have systematically answered how language imbalance in tokenizer training affects downstream performance. In this work, we analyze how translation performance changes as the data ratios among languages vary in the tokenizer training corpus. We find that while relatively better performance is often observed when languages are more equally sampled, the downstream performance is more robust to language imbalance than we usually expected. Two features, UNK rate and closeness to the character level, can warn of poor downstream performance before performing the task. We also distinguish language sampling for tokenizer training from sampling for model training and show that the model is more sensitive to the latter.

pdf bib
Lifting the Curse of Multilinguality by Pre-training Modular Transformers
Jonas Pfeiffer | Naman Goyal | Xi Lin | Xian Li | James Cross | Sebastian Riedel | Mikel Artetxe
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Multilingual pre-trained models are known to suffer from the curse of multilinguality, which causes per-language performance to drop as they cover more languages. We address this issue by introducing language-specific modules, which allows us to grow the total capacity of the model, while keeping the total number of trainable parameters per language constant. In contrast with prior work that learns language-specific components post-hoc, we pre-train the modules of our Cross-lingual Modular (X-Mod) models from the start. Our experiments on natural language inference, named entity recognition and question answering show that our approach not only mitigates the negative interference between languages, but also enables positive transfer, resulting in improved monolingual and cross-lingual performance. Furthermore, our approach enables adding languages post-hoc with no measurable drop in performance, no longer limiting the model usage to the set of pre-trained languages.

pdf bib
Multilingual Autoregressive Entity Linking
Nicola De Cao | Ledell Wu | Kashyap Popat | Mikel Artetxe | Naman Goyal | Mikhail Plekhanov | Luke Zettlemoyer | Nicola Cancedda | Sebastian Riedel | Fabio Petroni
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 10

We present mGENRE, a sequence-to- sequence system for the Multilingual Entity Linking (MEL) problem—the task of resolving language-specific mentions to a multilingual Knowledge Base (KB). For a mention in a given language, mGENRE predicts the name of the target entity left-to-right, token-by-token in an autoregressive fashion. The autoregressive formulation allows us to effectively cross-encode mention string and entity names to capture more interactions than the standard dot product between mention and entity vectors. It also enables fast search within a large KB even for mentions that do not appear in mention tables and with no need for large-scale vector indices. While prior MEL works use a single representation for each entity, we match against entity names of as many languages as possible, which allows exploiting language connections between source input and target name. Moreover, in a zero-shot setting on languages with no training data at all, mGENRE treats the target language as a latent variable that is marginalized at prediction time. This leads to over 50% improvements in average accuracy. We show the efficacy of our approach through extensive evaluation including experiments on three popular MEL benchmarks where we establish new state-of-the-art results. Source code available at

pdf bib
The Flores-101 Evaluation Benchmark for Low-Resource and Multilingual Machine Translation
Naman Goyal | Cynthia Gao | Vishrav Chaudhary | Peng-Jen Chen | Guillaume Wenzek | Da Ju | Sanjana Krishnan | Marc’Aurelio Ranzato | Francisco Guzmán | Angela Fan
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 10

One of the biggest challenges hindering progress in low-resource and multilingual machine translation is the lack of good evaluation benchmarks. Current evaluation benchmarks either lack good coverage of low-resource languages, consider only restricted domains, or are low quality because they are constructed using semi-automatic procedures. In this work, we introduce the Flores-101 evaluation benchmark, consisting of 3001 sentences extracted from English Wikipedia and covering a variety of different topics and domains. These sentences have been translated in 101 languages by professional translators through a carefully controlled process. The resulting dataset enables better assessment of model quality on the long tail of low-resource languages, including the evaluation of many-to-many multilingual translation systems, as all translations are fully aligned. By publicly releasing such a high-quality and high-coverage dataset, we hope to foster progress in the machine translation community and beyond.


pdf bib
Findings of the WMT 2021 Shared Task on Large-Scale Multilingual Machine Translation
Guillaume Wenzek | Vishrav Chaudhary | Angela Fan | Sahir Gomez | Naman Goyal | Somya Jain | Douwe Kiela | Tristan Thrush | Francisco Guzmán
Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Machine Translation

We present the results of the first task on Large-Scale Multilingual Machine Translation. The task consists on the many-to-many evaluation of a single model across a variety of source and target languages. This year, the task consisted on three different settings: (i) SMALL-TASK1 (Central/South-Eastern European Languages), (ii) the SMALL-TASK2 (South-East Asian Languages), and (iii) FULL-TASK (all 101 x 100 language pairs). All the tasks used the FLORES-101 dataset as the evaluation benchmark. To ensure the longevity of the dataset, the test sets were not publicly released and the models were evaluated in a controlled environment on Dynabench. There were a total of 10 participating teams for the tasks, with a total of 151 intermediate model submissions and 13 final models. This year’s result show a significant improvement over the known base-lines with +17.8 BLEU for SMALL-TASK2, +10.6 for FULL-TASK and +3.6 for SMALL-TASK1.

pdf bib
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

pdf bib
FST: the FAIR Speech Translation System for the IWSLT21 Multilingual Shared Task
Yun Tang | Hongyu Gong | Xian Li | Changhan Wang | Juan Pino | Holger Schwenk | Naman Goyal
Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2021)

In this paper, we describe our end-to-end multilingual speech translation system submitted to the IWSLT 2021 evaluation campaign on the Multilingual Speech Translation shared task. Our system is built by leveraging transfer learning across modalities, tasks and languages. First, we leverage general-purpose multilingual modules pretrained with large amounts of unlabelled and labelled data. We further enable knowledge transfer from the text task to the speech task by training two tasks jointly. Finally, our multilingual model is finetuned on speech translation task-specific data to achieve the best translation results. Experimental results show our system outperforms the reported systems, including both end-to-end and cascaded based approaches, by a large margin. In some translation directions, our speech translation results evaluated on the public Multilingual TEDx test set are even comparable with the ones from a strong text-to-text translation system, which uses the oracle speech transcripts as input.

pdf bib
Adapting High-resource NMT Models to Translate Low-resource Related Languages without Parallel Data
Wei-Jen Ko | Ahmed El-Kishky | Adithya Renduchintala | Vishrav Chaudhary | Naman Goyal | Francisco Guzmán | Pascale Fung | Philipp Koehn | Mona Diab
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

The scarcity of parallel data is a major obstacle for training high-quality machine translation systems for low-resource languages. Fortunately, some low-resource languages are linguistically related or similar to high-resource languages; these related languages may share many lexical or syntactic structures. In this work, we exploit this linguistic overlap to facilitate translating to and from a low-resource language with only monolingual data, in addition to any parallel data in the related high-resource language. Our method, NMT-Adapt, combines denoising autoencoding, back-translation and adversarial objectives to utilize monolingual data for low-resource adaptation. We experiment on 7 languages from three different language families and show that our technique significantly improves translation into low-resource language compared to other translation baselines.

pdf bib
Larger-Scale Transformers for Multilingual Masked Language Modeling
Naman Goyal | Jingfei Du | Myle Ott | Giri Anantharaman | Alexis Conneau
Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Representation Learning for NLP (RepL4NLP-2021)

Recent work has demonstrated the effectiveness of cross-lingual language model pretraining for cross-lingual understanding. In this study, we present the results of two larger multilingual masked language models, with 3.5B and 10.7B parameters. Our two new models dubbed and outperform XLM-R by 1.8% and 2.4% average accuracy on XNLI. Our model also outperforms the RoBERTa-Large model on several English tasks of the GLUE benchmark by 0.3% on average while handling 99 more languages. This suggests larger capacity models for language understanding may obtain strong performance on high-resource languages while greatly improving low-resource languages. We make our code and models publicly available.

pdf bib
Recipes for Building an Open-Domain Chatbot
Stephen Roller | Emily Dinan | Naman Goyal | Da Ju | Mary Williamson | Yinhan Liu | Jing Xu | Myle Ott | Eric Michael Smith | Y-Lan Boureau | Jason Weston
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Main Volume

Building open-domain chatbots is a challenging area for machine learning research. While prior work has shown that scaling neural models in the number of parameters and the size of the data they are trained on gives improved results, we highlight other ingredients. Good conversation requires blended skills: providing engaging talking points, and displaying knowledge, empathy and personality appropriately, while maintaining a consistent persona. We show that large scale models can learn these skills when given appropriate training data and choice of generation strategy. We build variants of these recipes with 90M, 2.7B and 9.4B parameter models, and make our models and code publicly available. Human evaluations show our best models outperform existing approaches in multi-turn dialogue on engagingness and humanness measurements. We then discuss the limitations of this work by analyzing failure cases of our models.


pdf bib
BART: Denoising Sequence-to-Sequence Pre-training for Natural Language Generation, Translation, and Comprehension
Mike Lewis | Yinhan Liu | Naman Goyal | Marjan Ghazvininejad | Abdelrahman Mohamed | Omer Levy | Veselin Stoyanov | Luke Zettlemoyer
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

We present BART, a denoising autoencoder for pretraining sequence-to-sequence models. BART is trained by (1) corrupting text with an arbitrary noising function, and (2) learning a model to reconstruct the original text. It uses a standard Tranformer-based neural machine translation architecture which, despite its simplicity, can be seen as generalizing BERT (due to the bidirectional encoder), GPT (with the left-to-right decoder), and other recent pretraining schemes. We evaluate a number of noising approaches, finding the best performance by both randomly shuffling the order of sentences and using a novel in-filling scheme, where spans of text are replaced with a single mask token. BART is particularly effective when fine tuned for text generation but also works well for comprehension tasks. It matches the performance of RoBERTa on GLUE and SQuAD, and achieves new state-of-the-art results on a range of abstractive dialogue, question answering, and summarization tasks, with gains of up to 3.5 ROUGE. BART also provides a 1.1 BLEU increase over a back-translation system for machine translation, with only target language pretraining. We also replicate other pretraining schemes within the BART framework, to understand their effect on end-task performance.

pdf bib
Unsupervised Cross-lingual Representation Learning at Scale
Alexis Conneau | Kartikay Khandelwal | Naman Goyal | Vishrav Chaudhary | Guillaume Wenzek | Francisco Guzmán | Edouard Grave | Myle Ott | Luke Zettlemoyer | Veselin Stoyanov
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

This paper shows that pretraining multilingual language models at scale leads to significant performance gains for a wide range of cross-lingual transfer tasks. We train a Transformer-based masked language model on one hundred languages, using more than two terabytes of filtered CommonCrawl data. Our model, dubbed XLM-R, significantly outperforms multilingual BERT (mBERT) on a variety of cross-lingual benchmarks, including +14.6% average accuracy on XNLI, +13% average F1 score on MLQA, and +2.4% F1 score on NER. XLM-R performs particularly well on low-resource languages, improving 15.7% in XNLI accuracy for Swahili and 11.4% for Urdu over previous XLM models. We also present a detailed empirical analysis of the key factors that are required to achieve these gains, including the trade-offs between (1) positive transfer and capacity dilution and (2) the performance of high and low resource languages at scale. Finally, we show, for the first time, the possibility of multilingual modeling without sacrificing per-language performance; XLM-R is very competitive with strong monolingual models on the GLUE and XNLI benchmarks. We will make our code and models publicly available.

pdf bib
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

pdf bib
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.

pdf bib
Findings of the WMT 2020 Shared Task on Parallel Corpus Filtering and Alignment
Philipp Koehn | Vishrav Chaudhary | Ahmed El-Kishky | Naman Goyal | Peng-Jen Chen | Francisco Guzmán
Proceedings of the Fifth Conference on Machine Translation

Following two preceding WMT Shared Task on Parallel Corpus Filtering (Koehn et al., 2018, 2019), we posed again the challenge of assigning sentence-level quality scores for very noisy corpora of sentence pairs crawled from the web, with the goal of sub-selecting the highest-quality data to be used to train ma-chine translation systems. This year, the task tackled the low resource condition of Pashto–English and Khmer–English and also included the challenge of sentence alignment from document pairs.


pdf bib
LearningToQuestion at SemEval 2017 Task 3: Ranking Similar Questions by Learning to Rank Using Rich Features
Naman Goyal
Proceedings of the 11th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2017)

This paper describes our official entry LearningToQuestion for SemEval 2017 task 3 community question answer, subtask B. The objective is to rerank questions obtained in web forum as per their similarity to original question. Our system uses pairwise learning to rank methods on rich set of hand designed and representation learning features. We use various semantic features that help our system to achieve promising results on the task. The system achieved second highest results on official metrics MAP and good results on other search metrics.


pdf bib
A Joint Model of Rhetorical Discourse Structure and Summarization
Naman Goyal | Jacob Eisenstein
Proceedings of the Workshop on Structured Prediction for NLP