Raheel Qader


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Lingua Custodia’s Participation at the WMT 2022 Word-Level Auto-completion Shared Task
Melissa Ailem | Jingshu Liu | Jean-gabriel Barthelemy | Raheel Qader
Proceedings of the Seventh Conference on Machine Translation (WMT)

This paper presents Lingua Custodia’s submission to the WMT22 shared task on Word Level Auto-completion (WLAC). We consider two directions, namely German-English and English-German.The WLAC task in Neural Machine Translation (NMT) consists in predicting a target word given few human typed characters, the source sentence to translate, as well as some translation context. Inspired by recent work in terminology control, we propose to treat the human typed sequence as a constraint to predict the right word starting by the latter. To do so, the source side of the training data is augmented with both the constraints and the translation context. In addition, following new advances in WLAC, we use a joint optimization strategy taking into account several types of translation context. The automatic as well as human accuracy obtained with the submitted systems show the effectiveness of the proposed method.

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Encouraging Neural Machine Translation to Satisfy Terminology Constraints.
Melissa Ailem | Jingshu Liu | Raheel Qader
Actes de la 29e Conférence sur le Traitement Automatique des Langues Naturelles. Volume 1 : conférence principale

Encouraging Neural Machine Translation to Satisfy Terminology Constraints. We present a new approach to encourage neural machine translation to satisfy lexical constraints. Our method acts at the training step and thereby avoiding the introduction of any extra computational overhead at inference step. The proposed method combines three main ingredients. The first one consists in augmenting the training data to specify the constraints. Intuitively, this encourages the model to learn a copy behavior when it encounters constraint terms. Compared to previous work, we use a simplified augmentation strategy without source factors. The second ingredient is constraint token masking, which makes it even easier for the model to learn the copy behavior and generalize better. The third one, is a modification of the standard cross entropy loss to bias the model towards assigning high probabilities to constraint words. Empirical results show that our method improves upon related baselines in terms of both BLEU score and the percentage of generated constraint terms.


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Lingua Custodia’s Participation at the WMT 2021 Machine Translation Using Terminologies Shared Task
Melissa Ailem | Jingshu Liu | Raheel Qader
Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Machine Translation

This paper describes Lingua Custodia’s submission to the WMT21 shared task on machine translation using terminologies. We consider three directions, namely English to French, Russian, and Chinese. We rely on a Transformer-based architecture as a building block, and we explore a method which introduces two main changes to the standard procedure to handle terminologies. The first one consists in augmenting the training data in such a way as to encourage the model to learn a copy behavior when it encounters terminology constraint terms. The second change is constraint token masking, whose purpose is to ease copy behavior learning and to improve model generalization. Empirical results show that our method satisfies most terminology constraints while maintaining high translation quality.

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Encouraging Neural Machine Translation to Satisfy Terminology Constraints
Melissa Ailem | Jingshu Liu | Raheel Qader
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021


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Seq2SeqPy: A Lightweight and Customizable Toolkit for Neural Sequence-to-Sequence Modeling
Raheel Qader | François Portet | Cyril Labbe
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

We present Seq2SeqPy a lightweight toolkit for sequence-to-sequence modeling that prioritizes simplicity and ability to customize the standard architectures easily. The toolkit supports several known architectures such as Recurrent Neural Networks, Pointer Generator Networks, and transformer model. We evaluate the toolkit on two datasets and we show that the toolkit performs similarly or even better than a very widely used sequence-to-sequence toolkit.

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Controllable Neural Natural Language Generation: comparison of state-of-the-art control strategies
Yuanmin Leng | François Portet | Cyril Labbé | Raheel Qader
Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on Natural Language Generation from the Semantic Web (WebNLG+)

Most NLG systems target text fluency and grammatical correctness, disregarding control over text structure and length. However, control over the output plays an important part in industrial NLG applications. In this paper, we study different strategies of control in triple-totext generation systems particularly from the aspects of text structure and text length. Regarding text structure, we present an approach that relies on aligning the input entities with the facts in the target side. It makes sure that the order and the distribution of entities in both the input and the text are the same. As for control over text length, we show two different approaches. One is to supply length constraint as input while the other is to force the end-ofsentence tag to be included at each step when using top-k decoding strategy. Finally, we propose four metrics to assess the degree to which these methods will affect a NLG system’s ability to control text structure and length. Our analyses demonstrate that all the methods enhance the system’s ability with a slight decrease in text fluency. In addition, constraining length at the input level performs much better than control at decoding level.


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Fine-Grained Control of Sentence Segmentation and Entity Positioning in Neural NLG
Kritika Mehta | Raheel Qader | Cyril Labbe | François Portet
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Discourse Structure in Neural NLG

The move from pipeline Natural Language Generation (NLG) approaches to neural end-to-end approaches led to a loss of control in sentence planning operations owing to the conflation of intermediary micro-planning stages into a single model. Such control is highly necessary when the text should be tailored to respect some constraints such as which entity to be mentioned first, the entity position, the complexity of sentences, etc. In this paper, we introduce fine-grained control of sentence planning in neural data-to-text generation models at two levels - realization of input entities in desired sentences and realization of the input entities in the desired position among individual sentences. We show that by augmenting the input with explicit position identifiers, the neural model can achieve a great control over the output structure while keeping the naturalness of the generated text intact. Since sentence level metrics are not entirely suitable to evaluate this task, we used a metric specific to our task that accounts for the model’s ability to achieve control. The results demonstrate that the position identifiers do constraint the neural model to respect the intended output structure which can be useful in a variety of domains that require the generated text to be in a certain structure.

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Semi-Supervised Neural Text Generation by Joint Learning of Natural Language Generation and Natural Language Understanding Models
Raheel Qader | François Portet | Cyril Labbé
Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Natural Language Generation

In Natural Language Generation (NLG), End-to-End (E2E) systems trained through deep learning have recently gained a strong interest. Such deep models need a large amount of carefully annotated data to reach satisfactory performance. However, acquiring such datasets for every new NLG application is a tedious and time-consuming task. In this paper, we propose a semi-supervised deep learning scheme that can learn from non-annotated data and annotated data when available. It uses a NLG and a Natural Language Understanding (NLU) sequence-to-sequence models which are learned jointly to compensate for the lack of annotation. Experiments on two benchmark datasets show that, with limited amount of annotated data, the method can achieve very competitive results while not using any pre-processing or re-scoring tricks. These findings open the way to the exploitation of non-annotated datasets which is the current bottleneck for the E2E NLG system development to new applications.


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Generation of Company descriptions using concept-to-text and text-to-text deep models: dataset collection and systems evaluation
Raheel Qader | Khoder Jneid | François Portet | Cyril Labbé
Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Natural Language Generation

In this paper we study the performance of several state-of-the-art sequence-to-sequence models applied to generation of short company descriptions. The models are evaluated on a newly created and publicly available company dataset that has been collected from Wikipedia. The dataset consists of around 51K company descriptions that can be used for both concept-to-text and text-to-text generation tasks. Automatic metrics and human evaluation scores computed on the generated company descriptions show promising results despite the difficulty of the task as the dataset (like most available datasets) has not been originally designed for machine learning. In addition, we perform correlation analysis between automatic metrics and human evaluations and show that certain automatic metrics are more correlated to human judgments.


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Ajout automatique de disfluences pour la synthèse de la parole spontanée : formalisation et preuve de concept (Automatic disfluency insertion towards spontaneous TTS : formalization and proof of concept)
Raheel Qader | Gwénolé Lecorvé | Damien Lolive | Pascale Sébillot
Actes des 24ème Conférence sur le Traitement Automatique des Langues Naturelles. Volume 1 - Articles longs

Cet article présente un travail exploratoire sur l’ajout automatique de disfluences, c’est-à-dire de pauses, de répétitions et de révisions, dans les énoncés en entrée d’un système de synthèse de la parole. L’objectif est de conférer aux signaux ainsi synthétisés un caractère plus spontané et expressif. Pour cela, nous présentons une formalisation novatrice du processus de production de disfluences à travers un mécanisme de composition de ces disfluences. Cette formalisation se distingue notamment des approches visant la détection ou le nettoyage de disfluences dans des transcriptions, ou de celles en synthèse de la parole qui ne s’intéressent qu’au seul ajout de pauses. Nous présentons une première implémentation de notre processus fondée sur des champs aléatoires conditionnels et des modèles de langage, puis conduisons des évaluations objectives et perceptives. Celles-ci nous permettent de conclure à la fonctionnalité de notre proposition et d’en discuter les pistes principales d’amélioration.


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Adaptation de la prononciation pour la synthèse de la parole spontanée en utilisant des informations linguistiques (Pronunciation adaptation for spontaneous speech synthesis using linguistic information)
Raheel Qader | Gwénolé Lecorvé | Damien Lolive | Pascale Sébillot
Actes de la conférence conjointe JEP-TALN-RECITAL 2016. volume 1 : JEP

Cet article présente une nouvelle méthode d’adaptation de la prononciation dont le but est de reproduire le style spontané. Il s’agit d’une tâche-clé en synthèse de la parole car elle permet d’apporter de l’expressivité aux signaux produits, ouvrant ainsi la voie à de nouvelles applications. La force de la méthode proposée est de ne s’appuyer que sur des informations linguistiques et de considérer un cadre probabiliste pour ce faire, précisément les champs aléatoires conditionnels. Dans cet article, nous étudions tout d’abord la pertinence d’un ensemble d’informations pour l’adaptation, puis nous combinons les informations les plus pertinentes lors d’expériences finales. Les évaluations de la méthode sur un corpus de parole conversationnelle en anglais montrent que les prononciations adaptées reflètent significativement mieux un style spontané que les prononciations canoniques.