Yichao Du


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Interventional Rationalization
Linan Yue | Qi Liu | Li Wang | Yanqing An | Yichao Du | Zhenya Huang
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Selective rationalizations improve the explainability of neural networks by selecting a subsequence of the input (i.e., rationales) to explain the prediction results. Although existing methods have achieved promising results, they still suffer from adopting the spurious correlations in data (aka., shortcuts) to compose rationales and make predictions. Inspired by the causal theory, in this paper, we develop an interventional rationalization (Inter-RAT) to discover the causal rationales. Specifically, we first analyse the causalities among the input, rationales and results with a structural causal model. Then, we discover spurious correlations between the input and rationales, and between rationales and results, respectively, by identifying the confounder in the causalities. Next, based on the backdoor adjustment, we propose a causal intervention method to remove the spurious correlations between input and rationales. Further, we discuss reasons why spurious correlations between the selected rationales and results exist by analysing the limitations of the sparsity constraint in the rationalization, and employ the causal intervention method to remove these correlations. Extensive experimental results on three real-world datasets clearly validate the effectiveness of our proposed method. The source code of Inter-RAT is available at https://github.com/yuelinan/Codes-of-Inter-RAT.

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IMTLab: An Open-Source Platform for Building, Evaluating, and Diagnosing Interactive Machine Translation Systems
Xu Huang | Zhirui Zhang | Ruize Gao | Yichao Du | Lemao Liu | Guoping Huang | Shuming Shi | Jiajun Chen | Shujian Huang
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

We present IMTLab, an open-source end-to-end interactive machine translation (IMT) system platform that enables researchers to quickly build IMT systems with state-of-the-art models, perform an end-to-end evaluation, and diagnose the weakness of systems. IMTLab treats the whole interactive translation process as a task-oriented dialogue with a human-in-the-loop setting, in which human interventions can be explicitly incorporated to produce high-quality, error-free translations. To this end, a general communication interface is designed to support the flexible IMT architectures and user policies. Based on the proposed design, we construct a simulated and real interactive environment to achieve end-to-end evaluation and leverage the framework to systematically evaluate previous IMT systems. Our simulated and manual experiments show that the prefix-constrained decoding approach still gains the lowest editing cost in the end-to-end evaluation, while BiTIIMT achieves comparable editing cost with a better interactive experience.

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Nearest Neighbor Machine Translation is Meta-Optimizer on Output Projection Layer
Ruize Gao | Zhirui Zhang | Yichao Du | Lemao Liu | Rui Wang
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Nearest Neighbor Machine Translation (kNN-MT) has achieved great success in domain adaptation tasks by integrating pre-trained Neural Machine Translation (NMT) models with domain-specific token-level retrieval. However, the reasons underlying its success have not been thoroughly investigated. In this paper, we comprehensively analyze kNN-MT through theoretical and empirical studies. Initially, we provide new insights into the working mechanism of kNN-MT as an efficient technique to implicitly execute gradient descent on the output projection layer of NMT, indicating that it is a specific case of model fine-tuning. Subsequently, we conduct multi-domain experiments and word-level analysis to examine the differences in performance between kNN-MT and entire-model fine-tuning. Our findings suggest that: (i) Incorporating kNN-MT with adapters yields comparable translation performance to fine-tuning on in-domain test sets, while achieving better performance on out-of-domain test sets; (ii) Fine-tuning significantly outperforms kNN-MT on the recall of in-domain low-frequency words, but this gap could be bridged by optimizing the context representations with additional adapter layers.

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The MineTrans Systems for IWSLT 2023 Offline Speech Translation and Speech-to-Speech Translation Tasks
Yichao Du | Guo Zhengsheng | Jinchuan Tian | Zhirui Zhang | Xing Wang | Jianwei Yu | Zhaopeng Tu | Tong Xu | Enhong Chen
Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2023)

This paper presents the extscMineTrans English-to-Chinese speech translation systems developed for two challenge tracks of IWSLT 2023, i.e., Offline Speech Translation (S2T) and Speech-to-Speech Translation (S2ST). For the S2T track, extscMineTrans employs a practical cascaded system to explore the limits of translation performance in both constrained and unconstrained settings, where the whole system consists of automatic speech recognition (ASR), punctuation recognition (PC), and machine translation (MT) modules. We also investigate the effectiveness of multiple ASR architectures and explore two MT strategies: supervised in-domain fine-tuning and prompt-guided translation using a large language model. For the S2ST track, we explore a speech-to-unit (S2U) framework to build an end-to-end S2ST system. This system encodes the target speech as discrete units via our trained HuBERT. Then it leverages the standard sequence-to-sequence model to directly learn the mapping between source speech and discrete units without any auxiliary recognition tasks (i.e., ASR and MT tasks). Various efforts are made to improve the extscMineTrans’s performance, such as acoustic model pre-training on large-scale data, data filtering, data augmentation, speech segmentation, knowledge distillation, consistency training, model ensembles, etc.


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Non-Parametric Domain Adaptation for End-to-End Speech Translation
Yichao Du | Weizhi Wang | Zhirui Zhang | Boxing Chen | Tong Xu | Jun Xie | Enhong Chen
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

The end-to-end speech translation (E2E-ST) has received increasing attention due to the potential of its less error propagation, lower latency and fewer parameters. However, the effectiveness of neural-based approaches to this task is severely limited by the available training corpus, especially for domain adaptation where in-domain triplet data is scarce or nonexistent. In this paper, we propose a novel non-parametric method that leverages in-domain text translation corpus to achieve domain adaptation for E2E-ST systems. To this end, we first incorporate an additional encoder into the pre-trained E2E-ST model to realize text translation modeling, based on which the decoder’s output representations for text and speech translation tasks are unified by reducing the correspondent representation mismatch in available triplet training data. During domain adaptation, a k-nearest-neighbor (kNN) classifier is introduced to produce the final translation distribution using the external datastore built by the domain-specific text translation corpus, while the universal output representation is adopted to perform a similarity search. Experiments on the Europarl-ST benchmark demonstrate that when in-domain text translation data is involved only, our proposed approach significantly improves baseline by 12.82 BLEU on average in all translation directions, even outperforming the strong in-domain fine-tuning strategy.


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Rethinking Zero-shot Neural Machine Translation: From a Perspective of Latent Variables
Weizhi Wang | Zhirui Zhang | Yichao Du | Boxing Chen | Jun Xie | Weihua Luo
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Zero-shot translation, directly translating between language pairs unseen in training, is a promising capability of multilingual neural machine translation (NMT). However, it usually suffers from capturing spurious correlations between the output language and language invariant semantics due to the maximum likelihood training objective, leading to poor transfer performance on zero-shot translation. In this paper, we introduce a denoising autoencoder objective based on pivot language into traditional training objective to improve the translation accuracy on zero-shot directions. The theoretical analysis from the perspective of latent variables shows that our approach actually implicitly maximizes the probability distributions for zero-shot directions. On two benchmark machine translation datasets, we demonstrate that the proposed method is able to effectively eliminate the spurious correlations and significantly outperforms state-of-the-art methods with a remarkable performance. Our code is available at https://github.com/Victorwz/zs-nmt-dae.