Trainable evaluation metrics for machine translation (MT) exhibit strong correlation with human judgements, but they are often hard to interpret and might produce unreliable scores under noisy or out-of-domain data. Recent work has attempted to mitigate this with simple uncertainty quantification techniques (Monte Carlo dropout and deep ensembles), however these techniques (as we show) are limited in several ways – for example, they are unable to distinguish between different kinds of uncertainty, and they are time and memory consuming. In this paper, we propose more powerful and efficient uncertainty predictors for MT evaluation, and we assess their ability to target different sources of aleatoric and epistemic uncertainty. To this end, we develop and compare training objectives for the COMET metric to enhance it with an uncertainty prediction output, including heteroscedastic regression, divergence minimization, and direct uncertainty prediction.Our experiments show improved results on uncertainty prediction for the WMT metrics task datasets, with a substantial reduction in computational costs. Moreover, they demonstrate the ability of these predictors to address specific uncertainty causes in MT evaluation, such as low quality references and out-of-domain data.
In this paper, we present the joint contribution of Unbabel and IST to the WMT 2022 Metrics Shared Task. Our primary submission – dubbed COMET-22 – is an ensemble between a COMET estimator model trained with Direct Assessments and a newly proposed multitask model trained to predict sentence-level scores along with OK/BAD word-level tags derived from Multidimensional Quality Metrics error annotations. These models are ensembled together using a hyper-parameter search that weights different features extracted from both evaluation models and combines them into a single score. For the reference-free evaluation, we present CometKiwi. Similarly to our primary submission, CometKiwi is an ensemble between two models. A traditional predictor-estimator model inspired by OpenKiwi and our new multitask model trained on Multidimensional Quality Metrics which can also be used without references. Both our submissions show improved correlations compared to state-of-the-art metrics from last year as well as increased robustness to critical errors.
We present the joint contribution of IST and Unbabel to the WMT 2022 Shared Task on Quality Estimation (QE). Our team participated in all three subtasks: (i) Sentence and Word-level Quality Prediction; (ii) Explainable QE; and (iii) Critical Error Detection. For all tasks we build on top of the COMET framework, connecting it with the predictor-estimator architecture of OpenKiwi, and equipping it with a word-level sequence tagger and an explanation extractor. Our results suggest that incorporating references during pretraining improves performance across several language pairs on downstream tasks, and that jointly training with sentence and word-level objectives yields a further boost. Furthermore, combining attention and gradient information proved to be the top strategy for extracting good explanations of sentence-level QE models. Overall, our submissions achieved the best results for all three tasks for almost all language pairs by a considerable margin.
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.
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.
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.