Zhirui Zhang


2022

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Automatic Song Translation for Tonal Languages
Fenfei Guo | Chen Zhang | Zhirui Zhang | Qixin He | Kejun Zhang | Jun Xie | Jordan Boyd-Graber
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

This paper develops automatic song translation (AST) for tonal languages and addresses the unique challenge of aligning words’ tones with melody of a song in addition to conveying the original meaning. We propose three criteria for effective AST—preserving meaning, singability and intelligibility—and design metrics for these criteria. We develop a new benchmark for English–Mandarin song translation and develop an unsupervised AST system, Guided AliGnment for Automatic Song Translation (GagaST), which combines pre-training with three decoding constraints. Both automatic and human evaluations show GagaST successfully balances semantics and singability.

2021

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Adaptive Nearest Neighbor Machine Translation
Xin Zheng | Zhirui Zhang | Junliang Guo | Shujian Huang | Boxing Chen | Weihua Luo | Jiajun Chen
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)

kNN-MT, recently proposed by Khandelwal et al. (2020a), successfully combines pre-trained neural machine translation (NMT) model with token-level k-nearest-neighbor (kNN) retrieval to improve the translation accuracy. However, the traditional kNN algorithm used in kNN-MT simply retrieves a same number of nearest neighbors for each target token, which may cause prediction errors when the retrieved neighbors include noises. In this paper, we propose Adaptive kNN-MT to dynamically determine the number of k for each target token. We achieve this by introducing a light-weight Meta-k Network, which can be efficiently trained with only a few training samples. On four benchmark machine translation datasets, we demonstrate that the proposed method is able to effectively filter out the noises in retrieval results and significantly outperforms the vanilla kNN-MT model. Even more noteworthy is that the Meta-k Network learned on one domain could be directly applied to other domains and obtain consistent improvements, illustrating the generality of our method. Our implementation is open-sourced at https://github.com/zhengxxn/adaptive-knn-mt.

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Non-Parametric Unsupervised Domain Adaptation for Neural Machine Translation
Xin Zheng | Zhirui Zhang | Shujian Huang | Boxing Chen | Jun Xie | Weihua Luo | Jiajun Chen
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Recently, kNN-MT (Khandelwal et al., 2020) has shown the promising capability of directly incorporating the pre-trained neural machine translation (NMT) model with domain-specific token-level k-nearest-neighbor (kNN) retrieval to achieve domain adaptation without retraining. Despite being conceptually attractive, it heavily relies on high-quality in-domain parallel corpora, limiting its capability on unsupervised domain adaptation, where in-domain parallel corpora are scarce or nonexistent. In this paper, we propose a novel framework that directly uses in-domain monolingual sentences in the target language to construct an effective datastore for k-nearest-neighbor retrieval. To this end, we first introduce an autoencoder task based on the target language, and then insert lightweight adapters into the original NMT model to map the token-level representation of this task to the ideal representation of the translation task. Experiments on multi-domain datasets demonstrate that our proposed approach significantly improves the translation accuracy with target-side monolingual data, while achieving comparable performance with back-translation. Our implementation is open-sourced at https://github. com/zhengxxn/UDA-KNN.

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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.

2020

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Iterative Domain-Repaired Back-Translation
Hao-Ran Wei | Zhirui Zhang | Boxing Chen | Weihua Luo
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

In this paper, we focus on the domain-specific translation with low resources, where in-domain parallel corpora are scarce or nonexistent. One common and effective strategy for this case is exploiting in-domain monolingual data with the back-translation method. However, the synthetic parallel data is very noisy because they are generated by imperfect out-of-domain systems, resulting in the poor performance of domain adaptation. To address this issue, we propose a novel iterative domain-repaired back-translation framework, which introduces the Domain-Repair (DR) model to refine translations in synthetic bilingual data. To this end, we construct corresponding data for the DR model training by round-trip translating the monolingual sentences, and then design the unified training framework to optimize paired DR and NMT models jointly. Experiments on adapting NMT models between specific domains and from the general domain to specific domains demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed approach, achieving 15.79 and 4.47 BLEU improvements on average over unadapted models and back-translation.

2019

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Budgeted Policy Learning for Task-Oriented Dialogue Systems
Zhirui Zhang | Xiujun Li | Jianfeng Gao | Enhong Chen
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

This paper presents a new approach that extends Deep Dyna-Q (DDQ) by incorporating a Budget-Conscious Scheduling (BCS) to best utilize a fixed, small amount of user interactions (budget) for learning task-oriented dialogue agents. BCS consists of (1) a Poisson-based global scheduler to allocate budget over different stages of training; (2) a controller to decide at each training step whether the agent is trained using real or simulated experiences; (3) a user goal sampling module to generate the experiences that are most effective for policy learning. Experiments on a movie-ticket booking task with simulated and real users show that our approach leads to significant improvements in success rate over the state-of-the-art baselines given the fixed budget.

2018

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Learning to Collaborate for Question Answering and Asking
Duyu Tang | Nan Duan | Zhao Yan | Zhirui Zhang | Yibo Sun | Shujie Liu | Yuanhua Lv | Ming Zhou
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long Papers)

Question answering (QA) and question generation (QG) are closely related tasks that could improve each other; however, the connection of these two tasks is not well explored in literature. In this paper, we give a systematic study that seeks to leverage the connection to improve both QA and QG. We present a training algorithm that generalizes both Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) and Generative Domain-Adaptive Nets (GDAN) under the question answering scenario. The two key ideas are improving the QG model with QA through incorporating additional QA-specific signal as the loss function, and improving the QA model with QG through adding artificially generated training instances. We conduct experiments on both document based and knowledge based question answering tasks. We have two main findings. Firstly, the performance of a QG model (e.g in terms of BLEU score) could be easily improved by a QA model via policy gradient. Secondly, directly applying GAN that regards all the generated questions as negative instances could not improve the accuracy of the QA model. Learning when to regard generated questions as positive instances could bring performance boost.

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Generative Bridging Network for Neural Sequence Prediction
Wenhu Chen | Guanlin Li | Shuo Ren | Shujie Liu | Zhirui Zhang | Mu Li | Ming Zhou
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long Papers)

In order to alleviate data sparsity and overfitting problems in maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) for sequence prediction tasks, we propose the Generative Bridging Network (GBN), in which a novel bridge module is introduced to assist the training of the sequence prediction model (the generator network). Unlike MLE directly maximizing the conditional likelihood, the bridge extends the point-wise ground truth to a bridge distribution conditioned on it, and the generator is optimized to minimize their KL-divergence. Three different GBNs, namely uniform GBN, language-model GBN and coaching GBN, are proposed to penalize confidence, enhance language smoothness and relieve learning burden. Experiments conducted on two recognized sequence prediction tasks (machine translation and abstractive text summarization) show that our proposed GBNs can yield significant improvements over strong baselines. Furthermore, by analyzing samples drawn from different bridges, expected influences on the generator are verified.

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Bidirectional Generative Adversarial Networks for Neural Machine Translation
Zhirui Zhang | Shujie Liu | Mu Li | Ming Zhou | Enhong Chen
Proceedings of the 22nd Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning

Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) has been proposed to tackle the exposure bias problem of Neural Machine Translation (NMT). However, the discriminator typically results in the instability of the GAN training due to the inadequate training problem: the search space is so huge that sampled translations are not sufficient for discriminator training. To address this issue and stabilize the GAN training, in this paper, we propose a novel Bidirectional Generative Adversarial Network for Neural Machine Translation (BGAN-NMT), which aims to introduce a generator model to act as the discriminator, whereby the discriminator naturally considers the entire translation space so that the inadequate training problem can be alleviated. To satisfy this property, generator and discriminator are both designed to model the joint probability of sentence pairs, with the difference that, the generator decomposes the joint probability with a source language model and a source-to-target translation model, while the discriminator is formulated as a target language model and a target-to-source translation model. To further leverage the symmetry of them, an auxiliary GAN is introduced and adopts generator and discriminator models of original one as its own discriminator and generator respectively. Two GANs are alternately trained to update the parameters. Experiment results on German-English and Chinese-English translation tasks demonstrate that our method not only stabilizes GAN training but also achieves significant improvements over baseline systems.

2017

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Stack-based Multi-layer Attention for Transition-based Dependency Parsing
Zhirui Zhang | Shujie Liu | Mu Li | Ming Zhou | Enhong Chen
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Although sequence-to-sequence (seq2seq) network has achieved significant success in many NLP tasks such as machine translation and text summarization, simply applying this approach to transition-based dependency parsing cannot yield a comparable performance gain as in other state-of-the-art methods, such as stack-LSTM and head selection. In this paper, we propose a stack-based multi-layer attention model for seq2seq learning to better leverage structural linguistics information. In our method, two binary vectors are used to track the decoding stack in transition-based parsing, and multi-layer attention is introduced to capture multiple word dependencies in partial trees. We conduct experiments on PTB and CTB datasets, and the results show that our proposed model achieves state-of-the-art accuracy and significant improvement in labeled precision with respect to the baseline seq2seq model.