Yun Tang


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Simple and Effective Unsupervised Speech Translation
Changhan Wang | Hirofumi Inaguma | Peng-Jen Chen | Ilia Kulikov | Yun Tang | Wei-Ning Hsu | Michael Auli | Juan Pino
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

The amount of labeled data to train models for speech tasks is limited for most languages, however, the data scarcity is exacerbated for speech translation which requires labeled data covering two different languages. To address this issue, we study a simple and effective approach to build speech translation systems without labeled data by leveraging recent advances in unsupervised speech recognition, machine translation and speech synthesis, either in a pipeline approach, or to generate pseudo-labels for training end-to-end speech translation models. Furthermore, we present an unsupervised domain adaptation technique for pre-trained speech models which improves the performance of downstream unsupervised speech recognition, especially for low-resource settings. Experiments show that unsupervised speech-to-text translation outperforms the previous unsupervised state of the art by 3.2 BLEU on the Libri-Trans benchmark, on CoVoST 2, our best systems outperform the best supervised end-to-end models (without pre-training) from only two years ago by an average of 5.0 BLEU over five X-En directions. We also report competitive results on MuST-C and CVSS benchmarks.

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Hybrid Transducer and Attention based Encoder-Decoder Modeling for Speech-to-Text Tasks
Yun Tang | Anna Sun | Hirofumi Inaguma | Xinyue Chen | Ning Dong | Xutai Ma | Paden Tomasello | Juan Pino
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Transducer and Attention based Encoder-Decoder (AED) are two widely used frameworks for speech-to-text tasks. They are designed for different purposes and each has its own benefits and drawbacks for speech-to-text tasks. In order to leverage strengths of both modeling methods, we propose a solution by combining Transducer and Attention based Encoder-Decoder (TAED) for speech-to-text tasks. The new method leverages AED’s strength in non-monotonic sequence to sequence learning while retaining Transducer’s streaming property. In the proposed framework, Transducer and AED share the same speech encoder. The predictor in Transducer is replaced by the decoder in the AED model, and the outputs of the decoder are conditioned on the speech inputs instead of outputs from an unconditioned language model. The proposed solution ensures that the model is optimized by covering all possible read/write scenarios and creates a matched environment for streaming applications. We evaluate the proposed approach on the MuST-C dataset and the findings demonstrate that TAED performs significantly better than Transducer for offline automatic speech recognition (ASR) and speech-to-text translation (ST) tasks. In the streaming case, TAED outperforms Transducer in the ASR task and one ST direction while comparable results are achieved in another translation direction.

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UnitY: Two-pass Direct Speech-to-speech Translation with Discrete Units
Hirofumi Inaguma | Sravya Popuri | Ilia Kulikov | Peng-Jen Chen | Changhan Wang | Yu-An Chung | Yun Tang | Ann Lee | Shinji Watanabe | Juan Pino
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Direct speech-to-speech translation (S2ST), in which all components can be optimized jointly, is advantageous over cascaded approaches to achieve fast inference with a simplified pipeline. We present a novel two-pass direct S2ST architecture, UnitY, which first generates textual representations and predicts discrete acoustic units subsequently. We enhance the model performance by subword prediction in the first-pass decoder, advanced two-pass decoder architecture design and search strategy, and better training regularization. To leverage large amounts of unlabeled text data, we pre-train the first-pass text decoder based on the self-supervised denoising auto-encoding task. Experimental evaluations on benchmark datasets at various data scales demonstrate that UnitY outperforms a single-pass speech-to-unit translation model by 2.5-4.2 ASR-BLEU with 2.83x decoding speed-up. We show that the proposed methods boost the performance even when predicting spectrogram in the second pass. However, predicting discrete units achieves 2.51x decoding speed-up compared to that case.

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ESPnet-ST-v2: Multipurpose Spoken Language Translation Toolkit
Brian Yan | Jiatong Shi | Yun Tang | Hirofumi Inaguma | Yifan Peng | Siddharth Dalmia | Peter Polák | Patrick Fernandes | Dan Berrebbi | Tomoki Hayashi | Xiaohui Zhang | Zhaoheng Ni | Moto Hira | Soumi Maiti | Juan Pino | Shinji Watanabe
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 3: System Demonstrations)

ESPnet-ST-v2 is a revamp of the open-source ESPnet-ST toolkit necessitated by the broadening interests of the spoken language translation community. ESPnet-ST-v2 supports 1) offline speech-to-text translation (ST), 2) simultaneous speech-to-text translation (SST), and 3) offline speech-to-speech translation (S2ST) – each task is supported with a wide variety of approaches, differentiating ESPnet-ST-v2 from other open source spoken language translation toolkits. This toolkit offers state-of-the-art architectures such as transducers, hybrid CTC/attention, multi-decoders with searchable intermediates, time-synchronous blockwise CTC/attention, Translatotron models, and direct discrete unit models. In this paper, we describe the overall design, example models for each task, and performance benchmarking behind ESPnet-ST-v2, which is publicly available at

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Milind Agarwal | Sweta Agrawal | Antonios Anastasopoulos | Luisa Bentivogli | Ondřej Bojar | Claudia Borg | Marine Carpuat | Roldano Cattoni | Mauro Cettolo | Mingda Chen | William Chen | Khalid Choukri | Alexandra Chronopoulou | Anna Currey | Thierry Declerck | Qianqian Dong | Kevin Duh | Yannick Estève | Marcello Federico | Souhir Gahbiche | Barry Haddow | Benjamin Hsu | Phu Mon Htut | Hirofumi Inaguma | Dávid Javorský | John Judge | Yasumasa Kano | Tom Ko | Rishu Kumar | Pengwei Li | Xutai Ma | Prashant Mathur | Evgeny Matusov | Paul McNamee | John P. McCrae | Kenton Murray | Maria Nadejde | Satoshi Nakamura | Matteo Negri | Ha Nguyen | Jan Niehues | Xing Niu | Atul Kr. Ojha | John E. Ortega | Proyag Pal | Juan Pino | Lonneke van der Plas | Peter Polák | Elijah Rippeth | Elizabeth Salesky | Jiatong Shi | Matthias Sperber | Sebastian Stüker | Katsuhito Sudoh | Yun Tang | Brian Thompson | Kevin Tran | Marco Turchi | Alex Waibel | Mingxuan Wang | Shinji Watanabe | Rodolfo Zevallos
Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2023)

This paper reports on the shared tasks organized by the 20th IWSLT Conference. The shared tasks address 9 scientific challenges in spoken language translation: simultaneous and offline translation, automatic subtitling and dubbing, speech-to-speech translation, multilingual, dialect and low-resource speech translation, and formality control. The shared tasks attracted a total of 38 submissions by 31 teams. The growing interest towards spoken language translation is also witnessed by the constantly increasing number of shared task organizers and contributors to the overview paper, almost evenly distributed across industry and academia.


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Unified Speech-Text Pre-training for Speech Translation and Recognition
Yun Tang | Hongyu Gong | Ning Dong | Changhan Wang | Wei-Ning Hsu | Jiatao Gu | Alexei Baevski | Xian Li | Abdelrahman Mohamed | Michael Auli | Juan Pino
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

In this work, we describe a method to jointly pre-train speech and text in an encoder-decoder modeling framework for speech translation and recognition. The proposed method utilizes multi-task learning to integrate four self-supervised and supervised subtasks for cross modality learning. A self-supervised speech subtask, which leverages unlabelled speech data, and a (self-)supervised text to text subtask, which makes use of abundant text training data, take up the majority of the pre-training time. Two auxiliary supervised speech tasks are included to unify speech and text modeling space. Detailed analysis reveals learning interference among subtasks. In order to alleviate the subtask interference, two pre-training configurations are proposed for speech translation and speech recognition respectively. Our experiments show the proposed method can effectively fuse speech and text information into one model. It achieves between 1.7 and 2.3 BLEU improvement above the state of the art on the MuST-C speech translation dataset and comparable WERs to wav2vec 2.0 on the Librispeech speech recognition task.

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Direct Speech-to-Speech Translation With Discrete Units
Ann Lee | Peng-Jen Chen | Changhan Wang | Jiatao Gu | Sravya Popuri | Xutai Ma | Adam Polyak | Yossi Adi | Qing He | Yun Tang | Juan Pino | Wei-Ning Hsu
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We present a direct speech-to-speech translation (S2ST) model that translates speech from one language to speech in another language without relying on intermediate text generation. We tackle the problem by first applying a self-supervised discrete speech encoder on the target speech and then training a sequence-to-sequence speech-to-unit translation (S2UT) model to predict the discrete representations of the target speech. When target text transcripts are available, we design a joint speech and text training framework that enables the model to generate dual modality output (speech and text) simultaneously in the same inference pass. Experiments on the Fisher Spanish-English dataset show that the proposed framework yields improvement of 6.7 BLEU compared with a baseline direct S2ST model that predicts spectrogram features. When trained without any text transcripts, our model performance is comparable to models that predict spectrograms and are trained with text supervision, showing the potential of our system for translation between unwritten languages.


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Multilingual Speech Translation from Efficient Finetuning of Pretrained Models
Xian Li | Changhan Wang | Yun Tang | Chau Tran | Yuqing Tang | Juan Pino | Alexei Baevski | Alexis Conneau | Michael Auli
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)

We present a simple yet effective approach to build multilingual speech-to-text (ST) translation through efficient transfer learning from a pretrained speech encoder and text decoder. Our key finding is that a minimalistic LNA (LayerNorm and Attention) finetuning can achieve zero-shot crosslingual and cross-modality transfer ability by only finetuning 10 50% of the pretrained parameters. This effectively leverages large pretrained models at low training cost such as wav2vec 2.0 for acoustic modeling, and mBART for multilingual text generation. This sets a new state-of-the-art for 36 translation directions (and surpassing cascaded ST for 26 of them) on the large-scale multilingual ST benchmark CoVoST 2 (+6.4 BLEU on average for En-X directions and +6.7 BLEU for X-En directions). Our approach demonstrates strong zero-shot performance in a many-to-many multilingual model (+5.6 BLEU on average across 28 non-English directions), making it an appealing approach for attaining high-quality speech translation with improved parameter and data efficiency.

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Improving Speech Translation by Understanding and Learning from the Auxiliary Text Translation Task
Yun Tang | Juan Pino | Xian Li | Changhan Wang | Dmitriy Genzel
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)

Pretraining and multitask learning are widely used to improve the speech translation performance. In this study, we are interested in training a speech translation model along with an auxiliary text translation task. We conduct a detailed analysis to understand the impact of the auxiliary task on the primary task within the multitask learning framework. Our analysis confirms that multitask learning tends to generate similar decoder representations from different modalities and preserve more information from the pretrained text translation modules. We observe minimal negative transfer effect between the two tasks and sharing more parameters is helpful to transfer knowledge from the text task to the speech task. The analysis also reveals that the modality representation difference at the top decoder layers is still not negligible, and those layers are critical for the translation quality. Inspired by these findings, we propose three methods to improve translation quality. First, a parameter sharing and initialization strategy is proposed to enhance information sharing between the tasks. Second, a novel attention-based regularization is proposed for the encoders and pulls the representations from different modalities closer. Third, an online knowledge distillation is proposed to enhance the knowledge transfer from the text to the speech task. Our experiments show that the proposed approach improves translation performance by more than 2 BLEU over a strong baseline and achieves state-of-the-art results on the MuST-C English-German, English-French and English-Spanish language pairs.

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FST: the FAIR Speech Translation System for the IWSLT21 Multilingual Shared Task
Yun Tang | Hongyu Gong | Xian Li | Changhan Wang | Juan Pino | Holger Schwenk | Naman Goyal
Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2021)

In this paper, we describe our end-to-end multilingual speech translation system submitted to the IWSLT 2021 evaluation campaign on the Multilingual Speech Translation shared task. Our system is built by leveraging transfer learning across modalities, tasks and languages. First, we leverage general-purpose multilingual modules pretrained with large amounts of unlabelled and labelled data. We further enable knowledge transfer from the text task to the speech task by training two tasks jointly. Finally, our multilingual model is finetuned on speech translation task-specific data to achieve the best translation results. Experimental results show our system outperforms the reported systems, including both end-to-end and cascaded based approaches, by a large margin. In some translation directions, our speech translation results evaluated on the public Multilingual TEDx test set are even comparable with the ones from a strong text-to-text translation system, which uses the oracle speech transcripts as input.


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Orthogonal Relation Transforms with Graph Context Modeling for Knowledge Graph Embedding
Yun Tang | Jing Huang | Guangtao Wang | Xiaodong He | Bowen Zhou
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Distance-based knowledge graph embeddings have shown substantial improvement on the knowledge graph link prediction task, from TransE to the latest state-of-the-art RotatE. However, complex relations such as N-to-1, 1-to-N and N-to-N still remain challenging to predict. In this work, we propose a novel distance-based approach for knowledge graph link prediction. First, we extend the RotatE from 2D complex domain to high dimensional space with orthogonal transforms to model relations. The orthogonal transform embedding for relations keeps the capability for modeling symmetric/anti-symmetric, inverse and compositional relations while achieves better modeling capacity. Second, the graph context is integrated into distance scoring functions directly. Specifically, graph context is explicitly modeled via two directed context representations. Each node embedding in knowledge graph is augmented with two context representations, which are computed from the neighboring outgoing and incoming nodes/edges respectively. The proposed approach improves prediction accuracy on the difficult N-to-1, 1-to-N and N-to-N cases. Our experimental results show that it achieves state-of-the-art results on two common benchmarks FB15k-237 and WNRR-18, especially on FB15k-237 which has many high in-degree nodes.

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Fairseq S2T: Fast Speech-to-Text Modeling with Fairseq
Changhan Wang | Yun Tang | Xutai Ma | Anne Wu | Dmytro Okhonko | Juan Pino
Proceedings of the 1st Conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 10th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

We introduce fairseq S2T, a fairseq extension for speech-to-text (S2T) modeling tasks such as end-to-end speech recognition and speech-to-text translation. It follows fairseq’s careful design for scalability and extensibility. We provide end-to-end workflows from data pre-processing, model training to offline (online) inference. We implement state-of-the-art RNN-based as well as Transformer-based models and open-source detailed training recipes. Fairseq’s machine translation models and language models can be seamlessly integrated into S2T workflows for multi-task learning or transfer learning. Fairseq S2T is available at


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Multi-hop Reading Comprehension across Multiple Documents by Reasoning over Heterogeneous Graphs
Ming Tu | Guangtao Wang | Jing Huang | Yun Tang | Xiaodong He | Bowen Zhou
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Multi-hop reading comprehension (RC) across documents poses new challenge over single-document RC because it requires reasoning over multiple documents to reach the final answer. In this paper, we propose a new model to tackle the multi-hop RC problem. We introduce a heterogeneous graph with different types of nodes and edges, which is named as Heterogeneous Document-Entity (HDE) graph. The advantage of HDE graph is that it contains different granularity levels of information including candidates, documents and entities in specific document contexts. Our proposed model can do reasoning over the HDE graph with nodes representation initialized with co-attention and self-attention based context encoders. We employ Graph Neural Networks (GNN) based message passing algorithms to accumulate evidences on the proposed HDE graph. Evaluated on the blind test set of the Qangaroo WikiHop data set, our HDE graph based single model delivers competitive result, and the ensemble model achieves the state-of-the-art performance.

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Relation Module for Non-Answerable Predictions on Reading Comprehension
Kevin Huang | Yun Tang | Jing Huang | Xiaodong He | Bowen Zhou
Proceedings of the 23rd Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL)

Machine reading comprehension (MRC) has attracted significant amounts of research attention recently, due to an increase of challenging reading comprehension datasets. In this paper, we aim to improve a MRC model’s ability to determine whether a question has an answer in a given context (e.g. the recently proposed SQuAD 2.0 task). The relation module consists of both semantic extraction and relational information. We first extract high level semantics as objects from both question and context with multi-head self-attentive pooling. These semantic objects are then passed to a relation network, which generates relationship scores for each object pair in a sentence. These scores are used to determine whether a question is non-answerable. We test the relation module on the SQuAD 2.0 dataset using both the BiDAF and BERT models as baseline readers. We obtain 1.8% gain of F1 accuracy on top of the BiDAF reader, and 1.0% on top of the BERT base model. These results show the effectiveness of our relation module on MRC.


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A Fast Framework for the Constrained Mean Trajectory Segment Model by Avoidance of Redundant Computation on Segment
Yun Tang | Wenju Liu | Yiyan Zhang | Bo Xu
International Journal of Computational Linguistics & Chinese Language Processing, Volume 11, Number 1, March 2006: Special Issue on Human Computer Speech Processing