Vedanuj Goswami


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Revisiting Machine Translation for Cross-lingual Classification
Mikel Artetxe | Vedanuj Goswami | Shruti Bhosale | Angela Fan | Luke Zettlemoyer
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Machine Translation (MT) has been widely used for cross-lingual classification, either by translating the test set into English and running inference with a monolingual model (translate-test), or translating the training set into the target languages and finetuning a multilingual model (translate-train). However, most research in the area focuses on the multilingual models rather than the MT component. We show that, by using a stronger MT system and mitigating the mismatch between training on original text and running inference on machine translated text, translate-test can do substantially better than previously assumed. The optimal approach, however, is highly task dependent, as we identify various sources of cross-lingual transfer gap that affect different tasks and approaches differently. Our work calls into question the dominance of multilingual models for cross-lingual classification, and prompts to pay more attention to MT-based baselines.

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Language-Aware Multilingual Machine Translation with Self-Supervised Learning
Haoran Xu | Jean Maillard | Vedanuj Goswami
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EACL 2023

Multilingual machine translation (MMT) benefits from cross-lingual transfer but is a challenging multitask optimization problem. This is partly because there is no clear framework to systematically learn language-specific parameters. Self-supervised learning (SSL) approaches that leverage large quantities of monolingual data (where parallel data is unavailable) have shown promise by improving translation performance as complementary tasks to the MMT task. However, jointly optimizing SSL and MMT tasks is even more challenging. In this work, we first investigate how to utilize **intra-distillation** to learn more *language-specific* parameters and then show the importance of these language-specific parameters. Next, we propose a novel but simple SSL task, **concurrent denoising**, that co-trains with the MMT task by concurrently denoising monolingual data on both the encoder and decoder. Finally, we apply **intra-distillation** to this co-training approach. Combining these two approaches significantly improves MMT performance, outperforming three state-of-the-art SSL methods by a large margin, e.g., 11.3% and 3.7% improvement on an 8-language and a 15-language benchmark compared with MASS, respectively.

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Towards Being Parameter-Efficient: A Stratified Sparsely Activated Transformer with Dynamic Capacity
Haoran Xu | Maha Elbayad | Kenton Murray | Jean Maillard | Vedanuj Goswami
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Mixture-of-experts (MoE) models that employ sparse activation have demonstrated effectiveness in significantly increasing the number of parameters while maintaining low computational requirements per token. However, recent studies have established that MoE models are inherently parameter-inefficient as the improvement in performance diminishes with an increasing number of experts. We hypothesize this parameter inefficiency is a result of all experts having equal capacity, which may not adequately meet the varying complexity requirements of different tokens or tasks. In light of this, we propose Stratified Mixture of Experts (SMoE) models, which feature a stratified structure and can assign dynamic capacity to different tokens. We demonstrate the effectiveness of SMoE on three multilingual machine translation benchmarks, containing 4, 15, and 94 language pairs, respectively. We show that SMoE outperforms multiple state-of-the-art MoE models with the same or fewer parameters.

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Small Data, Big Impact: Leveraging Minimal Data for Effective Machine Translation
Jean Maillard | Cynthia Gao | Elahe Kalbassi | Kaushik Ram Sadagopan | Vedanuj Goswami | Philipp Koehn | Angela Fan | Francisco Guzman
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

For many languages, machine translation progress is hindered by the lack of reliable training data. Models are trained on whatever pre-existing datasets may be available and then augmented with synthetic data, because it is often not economical to pay for the creation of large-scale datasets. But for the case of low-resource languages, would the creation of a few thousand professionally translated sentence pairs give any benefit? In this paper, we show that it does. We describe a broad data collection effort involving around 6k professionally translated sentence pairs for each of 39 low-resource languages, which we make publicly available. We analyse the gains of models trained on this small but high-quality data, showing that it has significant impact even when larger but lower quality pre-existing corpora are used, or when data is augmented with millions of sentences through backtranslation.

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Causes and Cures for Interference in Multilingual Translation
Uri Shaham | Maha Elbayad | Vedanuj Goswami | Omer Levy | Shruti Bhosale
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Multilingual machine translation models can benefit from synergy between different language pairs, but also suffer from interference. While there is a growing number of sophisticated methods that aim to eliminate interference, our understanding of interference as a phenomenon is still limited. This work identifies the main factors that contribute to interference in multilingual machine translation. Through systematic experimentation, we find that interference (or synergy) are primarily determined by model size, data size, and the proportion of each language pair within the total dataset. We observe that substantial interference occurs mainly when the model is very small with respect to the available training data, and that using standard transformer configurations with less than one billion parameters largely alleviates interference and promotes synergy. Moreover, we show that tuning the sampling temperature to control the proportion of each language pair in the data is key to balancing the amount of interference between low and high resource language pairs effectively, and can lead to superior performance overall.

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SpeechMatrix: A Large-Scale Mined Corpus of Multilingual Speech-to-Speech Translations
Paul-Ambroise Duquenne | Hongyu Gong | Ning Dong | Jingfei Du | Ann Lee | Vedanuj Goswami | Changhan Wang | Juan Pino | Benoît Sagot | Holger Schwenk
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We present SpeechMatrix, a large-scale multilingual corpus of speech-to-speech translations mined from real speech of European Parliament recordings. It contains speech alignments in 136 language pairs with a total of 418 thousand hours of speech. To evaluate the quality of this parallel speech, we train bilingual speech-to-speech translation models on mined data only and establish extensive baseline results on EuroParl-ST, VoxPopuli and FLEURS test sets. Enabled by the multilinguality of SpeechMatrix, we also explore multilingual speech-to-speech translation, a topic which was addressed by few other works. We also demonstrate that model pre-training and sparse scaling using Mixture-of-Experts bring large gains to translation performance. The mined data and models will be publicly released


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Tricks for Training Sparse Translation Models
Dheeru Dua | Shruti Bhosale | Vedanuj Goswami | James Cross | Mike Lewis | Angela Fan
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Multi-task learning with an unbalanced data distribution skews model learning towards high resource tasks, especially when model capacity is fixed and fully shared across all tasks. Sparse scaling architectures, such as BASELayers, provide flexible mechanisms for different tasks to have a variable number of parameters, which can be useful to counterbalance skewed data distributions. We find that that sparse architectures for multilingual machine translation can perform poorly out of the box and propose two straightforward techniques to mitigate this — a temperature heating mechanism and dense pre-training. Overall, these methods improve performance on two multilingual translation benchmarks compared to standard BASELayers and Dense scaling baselines, and in combination, more than 2x model convergence speed.