Nguyen Bach


2022

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ITA: Image-Text Alignments for Multi-Modal Named Entity Recognition
Xinyu Wang | Min Gui | Yong Jiang | Zixia Jia | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Zhongqiang Huang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Recently, Multi-modal Named Entity Recognition (MNER) has attracted a lot of attention. Most of the work utilizes image information through region-level visual representations obtained from a pretrained object detector and relies on an attention mechanism to model the interactions between image and text representations. However, it is difficult to model such interactions as image and text representations are trained separately on the data of their respective modality and are not aligned in the same space. As text representations take the most important role in MNER, in this paper, we propose Image-text Alignments (ITA) to align image features into the textual space, so that the attention mechanism in transformer-based pretrained textual embeddings can be better utilized. ITA first aligns the image into regional object tags, image-level captions and optical characters as visual contexts, concatenates them with the input texts as a new cross-modal input, and then feeds it into a pretrained textual embedding model. This makes it easier for the attention module of a pretrained textual embedding model to model the interaction between the two modalities since they are both represented in the textual space. ITA further aligns the output distributions predicted from the cross-modal input and textual input views so that the MNER model can be more practical in dealing with text-only inputs and robust to noises from images. In our experiments, we show that ITA models can achieve state-of-the-art accuracy on multi-modal Named Entity Recognition datasets, even without image information.

2021

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MuVER: Improving First-Stage Entity Retrieval with Multi-View Entity Representations
Xinyin Ma | Yong Jiang | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Zhongqiang Huang | Fei Huang | Weiming Lu
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Entity retrieval, which aims at disambiguating mentions to canonical entities from massive KBs, is essential for many tasks in natural language processing. Recent progress in entity retrieval shows that the dual-encoder structure is a powerful and efficient framework to nominate candidates if entities are only identified by descriptions. However, they ignore the property that meanings of entity mentions diverge in different contexts and are related to various portions of descriptions, which are treated equally in previous works. In this work, we propose Multi-View Entity Representations (MuVER), a novel approach for entity retrieval that constructs multi-view representations for entity descriptions and approximates the optimal view for mentions via a heuristic searching method. Our method achieves the state-of-the-art performance on ZESHEL and improves the quality of candidates on three standard Entity Linking datasets.

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Structural Knowledge Distillation: Tractably Distilling Information for Structured Predictor
Xinyu Wang | Yong Jiang | Zhaohui Yan | Zixia Jia | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Zhongqiang Huang | Fei Huang | Kewei Tu
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)

Knowledge distillation is a critical technique to transfer knowledge between models, typically from a large model (the teacher) to a more fine-grained one (the student). The objective function of knowledge distillation is typically the cross-entropy between the teacher and the student’s output distributions. However, for structured prediction problems, the output space is exponential in size; therefore, the cross-entropy objective becomes intractable to compute and optimize directly. In this paper, we derive a factorized form of the knowledge distillation objective for structured prediction, which is tractable for many typical choices of the teacher and student models. In particular, we show the tractability and empirical effectiveness of structural knowledge distillation between sequence labeling and dependency parsing models under four different scenarios: 1) the teacher and student share the same factorization form of the output structure scoring function; 2) the student factorization produces more fine-grained substructures than the teacher factorization; 3) the teacher factorization produces more fine-grained substructures than the student factorization; 4) the factorization forms from the teacher and the student are incompatible.

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Improving Named Entity Recognition by External Context Retrieving and Cooperative Learning
Xinyu Wang | Yong Jiang | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Zhongqiang Huang | Fei Huang | Kewei Tu
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)

Recent advances in Named Entity Recognition (NER) show that document-level contexts can significantly improve model performance. In many application scenarios, however, such contexts are not available. In this paper, we propose to find external contexts of a sentence by retrieving and selecting a set of semantically relevant texts through a search engine, with the original sentence as the query. We find empirically that the contextual representations computed on the retrieval-based input view, constructed through the concatenation of a sentence and its external contexts, can achieve significantly improved performance compared to the original input view based only on the sentence. Furthermore, we can improve the model performance of both input views by Cooperative Learning, a training method that encourages the two input views to produce similar contextual representations or output label distributions. Experiments show that our approach can achieve new state-of-the-art performance on 8 NER data sets across 5 domains.

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Automated Concatenation of Embeddings for Structured Prediction
Xinyu Wang | Yong Jiang | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Zhongqiang Huang | Fei Huang | Kewei Tu
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)

Pretrained contextualized embeddings are powerful word representations for structured prediction tasks. Recent work found that better word representations can be obtained by concatenating different types of embeddings. However, the selection of embeddings to form the best concatenated representation usually varies depending on the task and the collection of candidate embeddings, and the ever-increasing number of embedding types makes it a more difficult problem. In this paper, we propose Automated Concatenation of Embeddings (ACE) to automate the process of finding better concatenations of embeddings for structured prediction tasks, based on a formulation inspired by recent progress on neural architecture search. Specifically, a controller alternately samples a concatenation of embeddings, according to its current belief of the effectiveness of individual embedding types in consideration for a task, and updates the belief based on a reward. We follow strategies in reinforcement learning to optimize the parameters of the controller and compute the reward based on the accuracy of a task model, which is fed with the sampled concatenation as input and trained on a task dataset. Empirical results on 6 tasks and 21 datasets show that our approach outperforms strong baselines and achieves state-of-the-art performance with fine-tuned embeddings in all the evaluations.

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Multi-View Cross-Lingual Structured Prediction with Minimum Supervision
Zechuan Hu | Yong Jiang | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Zhongqiang Huang | Fei Huang | Kewei Tu
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)

In structured prediction problems, cross-lingual transfer learning is an efficient way to train quality models for low-resource languages, and further improvement can be obtained by learning from multiple source languages. However, not all source models are created equal and some may hurt performance on the target language. Previous work has explored the similarity between source and target sentences as an approximate measure of strength for different source models. In this paper, we propose a multi-view framework, by leveraging a small number of labeled target sentences, to effectively combine multiple source models into an aggregated source view at different granularity levels (language, sentence, or sub-structure), and transfer it to a target view based on a task-specific model. By encouraging the two views to interact with each other, our framework can dynamically adjust the confidence level of each source model and improve the performance of both views during training. Experiments for three structured prediction tasks on sixteen data sets show that our framework achieves significant improvement over all existing approaches, including these with access to additional source language data.

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Risk Minimization for Zero-shot Sequence Labeling
Zechuan Hu | Yong Jiang | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Zhongqiang Huang | Fei Huang | Kewei Tu
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)

Zero-shot sequence labeling aims to build a sequence labeler without human-annotated datasets. One straightforward approach is utilizing existing systems (source models) to generate pseudo-labeled datasets and train a target sequence labeler accordingly. However, due to the gap between the source and the target languages/domains, this approach may fail to recover the true labels. In this paper, we propose a novel unified framework for zero-shot sequence labeling with minimum risk training and design a new decomposable risk function that models the relations between the predicted labels from the source models and the true labels. By making the risk function trainable, we draw a connection between minimum risk training and latent variable model learning. We propose a unified learning algorithm based on the expectation maximization (EM) algorithm. We extensively evaluate our proposed approaches on cross-lingual/domain sequence labeling tasks over twenty-one datasets. The results show that our approaches outperform state-of-the-art baseline systems.

2020

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FINDINGS OF THE IWSLT 2020 EVALUATION CAMPAIGN
Ebrahim Ansari | Amittai Axelrod | Nguyen Bach | Ondřej Bojar | Roldano Cattoni | Fahim Dalvi | Nadir Durrani | Marcello Federico | Christian Federmann | Jiatao Gu | Fei Huang | Kevin Knight | Xutai Ma | Ajay Nagesh | Matteo Negri | Jan Niehues | Juan Pino | Elizabeth Salesky | Xing Shi | Sebastian Stüker | Marco Turchi | Alexander Waibel | Changhan Wang
Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation

The evaluation campaign of the International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2020) featured this year six challenge tracks: (i) Simultaneous speech translation, (ii) Video speech translation, (iii) Offline speech translation, (iv) Conversational speech translation, (v) Open domain translation, and (vi) Non-native speech translation. A total of teams participated in at least one of the tracks. This paper introduces each track’s goal, data and evaluation metrics, and reports the results of the received submissions.

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An Investigation of Potential Function Designs for Neural CRF
Zechuan Hu | Yong Jiang | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Zhongqiang Huang | Fei Huang | Kewei Tu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

The neural linear-chain CRF model is one of the most widely-used approach to sequence labeling. In this paper, we investigate a series of increasingly expressive potential functions for neural CRF models, which not only integrate the emission and transition functions, but also explicitly take the representations of the contextual words as input. Our extensive experiments show that the decomposed quadrilinear potential function based on the vector representations of two neighboring labels and two neighboring words consistently achieves the best performance.

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More Embeddings, Better Sequence Labelers?
Xinyu Wang | Yong Jiang | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Zhongqiang Huang | Fei Huang | Kewei Tu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Recent work proposes a family of contextual embeddings that significantly improves the accuracy of sequence labelers over non-contextual embeddings. However, there is no definite conclusion on whether we can build better sequence labelers by combining different kinds of embeddings in various settings. In this paper, we conduct extensive experiments on 3 tasks over 18 datasets and 8 languages to study the accuracy of sequence labeling with various embedding concatenations and make three observations: (1) concatenating more embedding variants leads to better accuracy in rich-resource and cross-domain settings and some conditions of low-resource settings; (2) concatenating contextual sub-word embeddings with contextual character embeddings hurts the accuracy in extremely low-resource settings; (3) based on the conclusion of (1), concatenating additional similar contextual embeddings cannot lead to further improvements. We hope these conclusions can help people build stronger sequence labelers in various settings.

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Structure-Level Knowledge Distillation For Multilingual Sequence Labeling
Xinyu Wang | Yong Jiang | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Fei Huang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Multilingual sequence labeling is a task of predicting label sequences using a single unified model for multiple languages. Compared with relying on multiple monolingual models, using a multilingual model has the benefit of a smaller model size, easier in online serving, and generalizability to low-resource languages. However, current multilingual models still underperform individual monolingual models significantly due to model capacity limitations. In this paper, we propose to reduce the gap between monolingual models and the unified multilingual model by distilling the structural knowledge of several monolingual models (teachers) to the unified multilingual model (student). We propose two novel KD methods based on structure-level information: (1) approximately minimizes the distance between the student’s and the teachers’ structure-level probability distributions, (2) aggregates the structure-level knowledge to local distributions and minimizes the distance between two local probability distributions. Our experiments on 4 multilingual tasks with 25 datasets show that our approaches outperform several strong baselines and have stronger zero-shot generalizability than both the baseline model and teacher models.

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AIN: Fast and Accurate Sequence Labeling with Approximate Inference Network
Xinyu Wang | Yong Jiang | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Zhongqiang Huang | Fei Huang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

The linear-chain Conditional Random Field (CRF) model is one of the most widely-used neural sequence labeling approaches. Exact probabilistic inference algorithms such as the forward-backward and Viterbi algorithms are typically applied in training and prediction stages of the CRF model. However, these algorithms require sequential computation that makes parallelization impossible. In this paper, we propose to employ a parallelizable approximate variational inference algorithm for the CRF model. Based on this algorithm, we design an approximate inference network that can be connected with the encoder of the neural CRF model to form an end-to-end network, which is amenable to parallelization for faster training and prediction. The empirical results show that our proposed approaches achieve a 12.7-fold improvement in decoding speed with long sentences and a competitive accuracy compared with the traditional CRF approach.

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Proceedings of Workshop on Natural Language Processing in E-Commerce
Huasha Zhao | Parikshit Sondhi | Nguyen Bach | Sanjika Hewavitharana | Yifan He | Luo Si | Heng Ji
Proceedings of Workshop on Natural Language Processing in E-Commerce

2018

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Alibaba Speech Translation Systems for IWSLT 2018
Nguyen Bach | Hongjie Chen | Kai Fan | Cheung-Chi Leung | Bo Li | Chongjia Ni | Rong Tong | Pei Zhang | Boxing Chen | Bin Ma | Fei Huang
Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation

This work describes the En→De Alibaba speech translation system developed for the evaluation campaign of the International Workshop on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT) 2018. In order to improve ASR performance, multiple ASR models including conventional and end-to-end models are built, then we apply model fusion in the final step. ASR pre and post-processing techniques such as speech segmentation, punctuation insertion, and sentence splitting are found to be very useful for MT. We also employed most techniques that have proven effective during the WMT 2018 evaluation, such as BPE, back translation, data selection, model ensembling and reranking. These ASR and MT techniques, combined, improve the speech translation quality significantly.

2012

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The SDL Language Weaver Systems in the WMT12 Quality Estimation Shared Task
Radu Soricut | Nguyen Bach | Ziyuan Wang
Proceedings of the Seventh Workshop on Statistical Machine Translation

2011

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Goodness: A Method for Measuring Machine Translation Confidence
Nguyen Bach | Fei Huang | Yaser Al-Onaizan
Proceedings of the 49th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

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CMU Haitian Creole-English Translation System for WMT 2011
Sanjika Hewavitharana | Nguyen Bach | Qin Gao | Vamshi Ambati | Stephan Vogel
Proceedings of the Sixth Workshop on Statistical Machine Translation

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TriS: A Statistical Sentence Simplifier with Log-linear Models and Margin-based Discriminative Training
Nguyen Bach | Qin Gao | Stephan Vogel | Alex Waibel
Proceedings of 5th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing

2010

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A Semi-Supervised Word Alignment Algorithm with Partial Manual Alignments
Qin Gao | Nguyen Bach | Stephan Vogel
Proceedings of the Joint Fifth Workshop on Statistical Machine Translation and MetricsMATR

2009

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Cohesive Constraints in A Beam Search Phrase-based Decoder
Nguyen Bach | Stephan Vogel | Colin Cherry
Proceedings of Human Language Technologies: The 2009 Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Companion Volume: Short Papers

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Incremental Adaptation of Speech-to-Speech Translation
Nguyen Bach | Roger Hsiao | Matthias Eck | Paisarn Charoenpornsawat | Stephan Vogel | Tanja Schultz | Ian Lane | Alex Waibel | Alan Black
Proceedings of Human Language Technologies: The 2009 Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Companion Volume: Short Papers

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Source-side Dependency Tree Reordering Models with Subtree Movements and Constraints
Nguyen Bach | Qin Gao | Stephan Vogel
Proceedings of Machine Translation Summit XII: Papers

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Virtual Babel: Towards Context-Aware Machine Translation in Virtual Worlds
Ying Zhang | Nguyen Bach
Proceedings of Machine Translation Summit XII: Posters

2008

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Recent Improvements in the CMU Large Scale Chinese-English SMT System
Almut Silja Hildebrand | Kay Rottmann | Mohamed Noamany | Quin Gao | Sanjika Hewavitharana | Nguyen Bach | Stephan Vogel
Proceedings of ACL-08: HLT, Short Papers

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Improving Word Alignment with Language Model Based Confidence Scores
Nguyen Bach | Qin Gao | Stephan Vogel
Proceedings of the Third Workshop on Statistical Machine Translation

2007

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A Log-Linear Block Transliteration Model based on Bi-Stream HMMs
Bing Zhao | Nguyen Bach | Ian Lane | Stephan Vogel
Human Language Technologies 2007: The Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics; Proceedings of the Main Conference

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The CMU TransTac 2007 eyes-free two-way speech-to-speech translation system
Nguyen Bach | Matthais Eck | Paisarn Charoenpornsawat | Thilo Köhler | Sebastian Stüker | ThuyLinh Nguyen | Roger Hsiao | Alex Waibel | Stephan Vogel | Tanja Schultz | Alan W. Black
Proceedings of the Fourth International Workshop on Spoken Language Translation

The paper describes our portable two-way speech-to-speech translation system using a completely eyes-free/hands-free user interface. This system translates between the language pair English and Iraqi Arabic as well as between English and Farsi, and was built within the framework of the DARPA TransTac program. The Farsi language support was developed within a 90-day period, testing our ability to rapidly support new languages. The paper gives an overview of the system’s components along with the individual component objective measures and a discussion of issues relevant for the overall usage of the system. We found that usability, flexibility, and robustness serve as severe constraints on system architecture and design.

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The CMU-UKA statistical machine translation systems for IWSLT 2007
Ian Lane | Andreas Zollmann | Thuy Linh Nguyen | Nguyen Bach | Ashish Venugopal | Stephan Vogel | Kay Rottmann | Ying Zhang | Alex Waibel
Proceedings of the Fourth International Workshop on Spoken Language Translation

This paper describes the CMU-UKA statistical machine translation systems submitted to the IWSLT 2007 evaluation campaign. Systems were submitted for three language-pairs: Japanese→English, Chinese→English and Arabic→English. All systems were based on a common phrase-based SMT (statistical machine translation) framework but for each language-pair a specific research problem was tackled. For Japanese→English we focused on two problems: first, punctuation recovery, and second, how to incorporate topic-knowledge into the translation framework. Our Chinese→English submission focused on syntax-augmented SMT and for the Arabic→English task we focused on incorporating morphological-decomposition into the SMT framework. This research strategy enabled us to evaluate a wide variety of approaches which proved effective for the language pairs they were evaluated on.

2006

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The UKA/CMU statistical machine translation system for IWSLT 2006
Matthias Eck | Ian Lane | Nguyen Bach | Sanjika Hewavitharana | Muntsin Kolss | Bing Zhao | Almut Silja Hildebrand | Stephan Vogel | Alex Waibel
Proceedings of the Third International Workshop on Spoken Language Translation: Evaluation Campaign