Ye Lin


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The NiuTrans System for the WMT 2021 Efficiency Task
Chenglong Wang | Chi Hu | Yongyu Mu | Zhongxiang Yan | Siming Wu | Yimin Hu | Hang Cao | Bei Li | Ye Lin | Tong Xiao | Jingbo Zhu
Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Machine Translation

This paper describes the NiuTrans system for the WMT21 translation efficiency task. Following last year’s work, we explore various techniques to improve the efficiency while maintaining translation quality. We investigate the combinations of lightweight Transformer architectures and knowledge distillation strategies. Also, we improve the translation efficiency with graph optimization, low precision, dynamic batching, and parallel pre/post-processing. Putting these together, our system can translate 247,000 words per second on an NVIDIA A100, being 3× faster than our last year’s system. Our system is the fastest and has the lowest memory consumption on the GPU-throughput track. The code, model, and pipeline will be available at NiuTrans.NMT.

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Bag of Tricks for Optimizing Transformer Efficiency
Ye Lin | Yanyang Li | Tong Xiao | Jingbo Zhu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Improving Transformer efficiency has become increasingly attractive recently. A wide range of methods has been proposed, e.g., pruning, quantization, new architectures and etc. But these methods are either sophisticated in implementation or dependent on hardware. In this paper, we show that the efficiency of Transformer can be improved by combining some simple and hardware-agnostic methods, including tuning hyper-parameters, better design choices and training strategies. On the WMT news translation tasks, we improve the inference efficiency of a strong Transformer system by 3.80x on CPU and 2.52x on GPU.

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Weight Distillation: Transferring the Knowledge in Neural Network Parameters
Ye Lin | Yanyang Li | Ziyang Wang | Bei Li | Quan Du | Tong Xiao | Jingbo Zhu
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 has been proven to be effective in model acceleration and compression. It transfers knowledge from a large neural network to a small one by using the large neural network predictions as targets of the small neural network. But this way ignores the knowledge inside the large neural networks, e.g., parameters. Our preliminary study as well as the recent success in pre-training suggests that transferring parameters are more effective in distilling knowledge. In this paper, we propose Weight Distillation to transfer the knowledge in parameters of a large neural network to a small neural network through a parameter generator. On the WMT16 En-Ro, NIST12 Zh-En, and WMT14 En-De machine translation tasks, our experiments show that weight distillation learns a small network that is 1.88 2.94x faster than the large network but with competitive BLEU performance. When fixing the size of small networks, weight distillation outperforms knowledge distillation by 0.51 1.82 BLEU points.


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The NiuTrans System for WNGT 2020 Efficiency Task
Chi Hu | Bei Li | Yinqiao Li | Ye Lin | Yanyang Li | Chenglong Wang | Tong Xiao | Jingbo Zhu
Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop on Neural Generation and Translation

This paper describes the submissions of the NiuTrans Team to the WNGT 2020 Efficiency Shared Task. We focus on the efficient implementation of deep Transformer models (Wang et al., 2019; Li et al., 2019) using NiuTensor, a flexible toolkit for NLP tasks. We explored the combination of deep encoder and shallow decoder in Transformer models via model compression and knowledge distillation. The neural machine translation decoding also benefits from FP16 inference, attention caching, dynamic batching, and batch pruning. Our systems achieve promising results in both translation quality and efficiency, e.g., our fastest system can translate more than 40,000 tokens per second with an RTX 2080 Ti while maintaining 42.9 BLEU on newstest2018.

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A Simple and Effective Approach to Robust Unsupervised Bilingual Dictionary Induction
Yanyang Li | Yingfeng Luo | Ye Lin | Quan Du | Huizhen Wang | Shujian Huang | Tong Xiao | Jingbo Zhu
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Unsupervised Bilingual Dictionary Induction methods based on the initialization and the self-learning have achieved great success in similar language pairs, e.g., English-Spanish. But they still fail and have an accuracy of 0% in many distant language pairs, e.g., English-Japanese. In this work, we show that this failure results from the gap between the actual initialization performance and the minimum initialization performance for the self-learning to succeed. We propose Iterative Dimension Reduction to bridge this gap. Our experiments show that this simple method does not hamper the performance of similar language pairs and achieves an accuracy of 13.64 55.53% between English and four distant languages, i.e., Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and Thai.


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The NiuTrans Machine Translation Systems for WMT19
Bei Li | Yinqiao Li | Chen Xu | Ye Lin | Jiqiang Liu | Hui Liu | Ziyang Wang | Yuhao Zhang | Nuo Xu | Zeyang Wang | Kai Feng | Hexuan Chen | Tengbo Liu | Yanyang Li | Qiang Wang | Tong Xiao | Jingbo Zhu
Proceedings of the Fourth Conference on Machine Translation (Volume 2: Shared Task Papers, Day 1)

This paper described NiuTrans neural machine translation systems for the WMT 2019 news translation tasks. We participated in 13 translation directions, including 11 supervised tasks, namely EN↔{ZH, DE, RU, KK, LT}, GU→EN and the unsupervised DE↔CS sub-track. Our systems were built on Deep Transformer and several back-translation methods. Iterative knowledge distillation and ensemble+reranking were also employed to obtain stronger models. Our unsupervised submissions were based on NMT enhanced by SMT. As a result, we achieved the highest BLEU scores in {KK↔EN, GU→EN} directions, ranking 2nd in {RU→EN, DE↔CS} and 3rd in {ZH→EN, LT→EN, EN→RU, EN↔DE} among all constrained submissions.


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The NiuTrans Machine Translation System for WMT18
Qiang Wang | Bei Li | Jiqiang Liu | Bojian Jiang | Zheyang Zhang | Yinqiao Li | Ye Lin | Tong Xiao | Jingbo Zhu
Proceedings of the Third Conference on Machine Translation: Shared Task Papers

This paper describes the submission of the NiuTrans neural machine translation system for the WMT 2018 Chinese ↔ English news translation tasks. Our baseline systems are based on the Transformer architecture. We further improve the translation performance 2.4-2.6 BLEU points from four aspects, including architectural improvements, diverse ensemble decoding, reranking, and post-processing. Among constrained submissions, we rank 2nd out of 16 submitted systems on Chinese → English task and 3rd out of 16 on English → Chinese task, respectively.