Ricardo Rei


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Searching for COMETINHO: The Little Metric That Could
Ricardo Rei | Ana C Farinha | José G.C. de Souza | Pedro G. Ramos | André F.T. Martins | Luisa Coheur | Alon Lavie
Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Conference of the European Association for Machine Translation

In recent years, several neural fine-tuned machine translation evaluation metrics such as COMET and BLEURT have been proposed. These metrics achieve much higher correlations with human judgments than lexical overlap metrics at the cost of computational efficiency and simplicity, limiting their applications to scenarios in which one has to score thousands of translation hypothesis (e.g. scoring multiple systems or Minimum Bayes Risk decoding). In this paper, we explore optimization techniques, pruning, and knowledge distillation to create more compact and faster COMET versions. Our results show that just by optimizing the code through the use of caching and length batching we can reduce inference time between 39% and 65% when scoring multiple systems. Also, we show that pruning COMET can lead to a 21% model reduction without affecting the model’s accuracy beyond 0.01 Kendall tau correlation. Furthermore, we present DISTIL-COMET a lightweight distilled version that is 80% smaller and 2.128x faster while attaining a performance close to the original model and above strong baselines such as BERTSCORE and PRISM.

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QUARTZ: Quality-Aware Machine Translation
José G.C. de Souza | Ricardo Rei | Ana C. Farinha | Helena Moniz | André F. T. Martins
Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Conference of the European Association for Machine Translation

This paper presents QUARTZ, QUality-AwaRe machine Translation, a project led by Unbabel which aims at developing machine translation systems that are more robust and produce fewer critical errors. With QUARTZ we want to enable machine translation for user-generated conversational content types that do not tolerate critical errors in automatic translations.

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Quality-Aware Decoding for Neural Machine Translation
Patrick Fernandes | António Farinhas | Ricardo Rei | José De Souza | Perez Ogayo | Graham Neubig | Andre Martins
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Despite the progress in machine translation quality estimation and evaluation in the last years, decoding in neural machine translation (NMT) is mostly oblivious to this and centers around finding the most probable translation according to the model (MAP decoding), approximated with beam search. In this paper, we bring together these two lines of research and propose quality-aware decoding for NMT, by leveraging recent breakthroughs in reference-free and reference-based MT evaluation through various inference methods like N-best reranking and minimum Bayes risk decoding. We perform an extensive comparison of various possible candidate generation and ranking methods across four datasets and two model classes and find that quality-aware decoding consistently outperforms MAP-based decoding according both to state-of-the-art automatic metrics (COMET and BLEURT) and to human assessments.


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Results of the WMT21 Metrics Shared Task: Evaluating Metrics with Expert-based Human Evaluations on TED and News Domain
Markus Freitag | Ricardo Rei | Nitika Mathur | Chi-kiu Lo | Craig Stewart | George Foster | Alon Lavie | Ondřej Bojar
Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Machine Translation

This paper presents the results of the WMT21 Metrics Shared Task. Participants were asked to score the outputs of the translation systems competing in the WMT21 News Translation Task with automatic metrics on two different domains: news and TED talks. All metrics were evaluated on how well they correlate at the system- and segment-level with human ratings. Contrary to previous years’ editions, this year we acquired our own human ratings based on expert-based human evaluation via Multidimensional Quality Metrics (MQM). This setup had several advantages: (i) expert-based evaluation has been shown to be more reliable, (ii) we were able to evaluate all metrics on two different domains using translations of the same MT systems, (iii) we added 5 additional translations coming from the same system during system development. In addition, we designed three challenge sets that evaluate the robustness of all automatic metrics. We present an extensive analysis on how well metrics perform on three language pairs: English to German, English to Russian and Chinese to English. We further show the impact of different reference translations on reference-based metrics and compare our expert-based MQM annotation with the DA scores acquired by WMT.

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IST-Unbabel 2021 Submission for the Quality Estimation Shared Task
Chrysoula Zerva | Daan van Stigt | Ricardo Rei | Ana C Farinha | Pedro Ramos | José G. C. de Souza | Taisiya Glushkova | Miguel Vera | Fabio Kepler | André F. T. Martins
Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Machine Translation

We present the joint contribution of IST and Unbabel to the WMT 2021 Shared Task on Quality Estimation. Our team participated on two tasks: Direct Assessment and Post-Editing Effort, encompassing a total of 35 submissions. For all submissions, our efforts focused on training multilingual models on top of OpenKiwi predictor-estimator architecture, using pre-trained multilingual encoders combined with adapters. We further experiment with and uncertainty-related objectives and features as well as training on out-of-domain direct assessment data.

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Are References Really Needed? Unbabel-IST 2021 Submission for the Metrics Shared Task
Ricardo Rei | Ana C Farinha | Chrysoula Zerva | Daan van Stigt | Craig Stewart | Pedro Ramos | Taisiya Glushkova | André F. T. Martins | Alon Lavie
Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Machine Translation

In this paper, we present the joint contribution of Unbabel and IST to the WMT 2021 Metrics Shared Task. With this year’s focus on Multidimensional Quality Metric (MQM) as the ground-truth human assessment, our aim was to steer COMET towards higher correlations with MQM. We do so by first pre-training on Direct Assessments and then fine-tuning on z-normalized MQM scores. In our experiments we also show that reference-free COMET models are becoming competitive with reference-based models, even outperforming the best COMET model from 2020 on this year’s development data. Additionally, we present COMETinho, a lightweight COMET model that is 19x faster on CPU than the original model, while also achieving state-of-the-art correlations with MQM. Finally, in the “QE as a metric” track, we also participated with a QE model trained using the OpenKiwi framework leveraging MQM scores and word-level annotations.

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IST-Unbabel 2021 Submission for the Explainable Quality Estimation Shared Task
Marcos Treviso | Nuno M. Guerreiro | Ricardo Rei | André F. T. Martins
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Evaluation and Comparison of NLP Systems

We present the joint contribution of Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) and Unbabel to the Explainable Quality Estimation (QE) shared task, where systems were submitted to two tracks: constrained (without word-level supervision) and unconstrained (with word-level supervision). For the constrained track, we experimented with several explainability methods to extract the relevance of input tokens from sentence-level QE models built on top of multilingual pre-trained transformers. Among the different tested methods, composing explanations in the form of attention weights scaled by the norm of value vectors yielded the best results. When word-level labels are used during training, our best results were obtained by using word-level predicted probabilities. We further improve the performance of our methods on the two tracks by ensembling explanation scores extracted from models trained with different pre-trained transformers, achieving strong results for in-domain and zero-shot language pairs.

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Online Learning Meets Machine Translation Evaluation: Finding the Best Systems with the Least Human Effort
Vânia Mendonça | Ricardo Rei | Luisa Coheur | Alberto Sardinha | Ana Lúcia Santos
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 Machine Translation, assessing the quality of a large amount of automatic translations can be challenging. Automatic metrics are not reliable when it comes to high performing systems. In addition, resorting to human evaluators can be expensive, especially when evaluating multiple systems. To overcome the latter challenge, we propose a novel application of online learning that, given an ensemble of Machine Translation systems, dynamically converges to the best systems, by taking advantage of the human feedback available. Our experiments on WMT’19 datasets show that our online approach quickly converges to the top-3 ranked systems for the language pairs considered, despite the lack of human feedback for many translations.

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MT-Telescope: An interactive platform for contrastive evaluation of MT systems
Ricardo Rei | Ana C Farinha | Craig Stewart | Luisa Coheur | Alon Lavie
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

We present MT-Telescope, a visualization platform designed to facilitate comparative analysis of the output quality of two Machine Translation (MT) systems. While automated MT evaluation metrics are commonly used to evaluate MT systems at a corpus-level, our platform supports fine-grained segment-level analysis and interactive visualisations that expose the fundamental differences in the performance of the compared systems. MT-Telescope also supports dynamic corpus filtering to enable focused analysis on specific phenomena such as; translation of named entities, handling of terminology, and the impact of input segment length on translation quality. Furthermore, the platform provides a bootstrapped t-test for statistical significance as a means of evaluating the rigor of the resulting system ranking. MT-Telescope is open source, written in Python, and is built around a user friendly and dynamic web interface. Complementing other existing tools, our platform is designed to facilitate and promote the broader adoption of more rigorous analysis practices in the evaluation of MT quality.

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Multilingual Email Zoning
Bruno Jardim | Ricardo Rei | Mariana S. C. Almeida
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Student Research Workshop

The segmentation of emails into functional zones (also dubbed email zoning) is a relevant preprocessing step for most NLP tasks that deal with emails. However, despite the multilingual character of emails and their applications, previous literature regarding email zoning corpora and systems was developed essentially for English. In this paper, we analyse the existing email zoning corpora and propose a new multilingual benchmark composed of 625 emails in Portuguese, Spanish and French. Moreover, we introduce OKAPI, the first multilingual email segmentation model based on a language agnostic sentence encoder. Besides generalizing well for unseen languages, our model is competitive with current English benchmarks, and reached new state-of-the-art performances for domain adaptation tasks in English.

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Uncertainty-Aware Machine Translation Evaluation
Taisiya Glushkova | Chrysoula Zerva | Ricardo Rei | André F. T. Martins
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Several neural-based metrics have been recently proposed to evaluate machine translation quality. However, all of them resort to point estimates, which provide limited information at segment level. This is made worse as they are trained on noisy, biased and scarce human judgements, often resulting in unreliable quality predictions. In this paper, we introduce uncertainty-aware MT evaluation and analyze the trustworthiness of the predicted quality. We combine the COMET framework with two uncertainty estimation methods, Monte Carlo dropout and deep ensembles, to obtain quality scores along with confidence intervals. We compare the performance of our uncertainty-aware MT evaluation methods across multiple language pairs from the QT21 dataset and the WMT20 metrics task, augmented with MQM annotations. We experiment with varying numbers of references and further discuss the usefulness of uncertainty-aware quality estimation (without references) to flag possibly critical translation mistakes.


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COMET: A Neural Framework for MT Evaluation
Ricardo Rei | Craig Stewart | Ana C Farinha | Alon Lavie
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

We present COMET, a neural framework for training multilingual machine translation evaluation models which obtains new state-of-the-art levels of correlation with human judgements. Our framework leverages recent breakthroughs in cross-lingual pretrained language modeling resulting in highly multilingual and adaptable MT evaluation models that exploit information from both the source input and a target-language reference translation in order to more accurately predict MT quality. To showcase our framework, we train three models with different types of human judgements: Direct Assessments, Human-mediated Translation Edit Rate and Multidimensional Quality Metric. Our models achieve new state-of-the-art performance on the WMT 2019 Metrics shared task and demonstrate robustness to high-performing systems.

COMET - Deploying a New State-of-the-art MT Evaluation Metric in Production
Craig Stewart | Ricardo Rei | Catarina Farinha | Alon Lavie
Proceedings of the 14th Conference of the Association for Machine Translation in the Americas (Volume 2: User Track)

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Unbabel’s Participation in the WMT20 Metrics Shared Task
Ricardo Rei | Craig Stewart | Ana C Farinha | Alon Lavie
Proceedings of the Fifth Conference on Machine Translation

We present the contribution of the Unbabel team to the WMT 2020 Shared Task on Metrics. We intend to participate on the segmentlevel, document-level and system-level tracks on all language pairs, as well as the “QE as a Metric” track. Accordingly, we illustrate results of our models in these tracks with reference to test sets from the previous year. Our submissions build upon the recently proposed COMET framework: we train several estimator models to regress on different humangenerated quality scores and a novel ranking model trained on relative ranks obtained from Direct Assessments. We also propose a simple technique for converting segment-level predictions into a document-level score. Overall, our systems achieve strong results for all language pairs on previous test sets and in many cases set a new state-of-the-art.