Workshop on MT Evaluation

Eduard Hovy, Margaret King, Sandra Manzi, Florence Reeder (Editors)

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September 18-22
Santiago de Compostela, Spain
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Evaluating the operational benefit of using machine translation output as translation memory input
Christine Bruckner | Mirko Plitt

Following the guidelines for MT evaluation proposed in the ISLE taxonomy, this paper presents considerations and procedures for evaluating the integration of machine-translated segments into a larger translation workflow with Translation Memory (TM) systems. The scenario here focuses on the software localisation industry, which already uses TM systems and looks to further streamline the overall translation process by integrating Machine Translation (MT). The main agents involved in this evaluation scenario are localisation managers and translators; the primary aspects of evaluation are speed, quality, and user acceptance. Using the penalty feature of Translation Memory systems, the authors also outline a possible method for finding the “right place” for MT produced segments among TM matches with different degrees of fuzziness.

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Quantitative evaluation of machine translation systems: sentence level
Palmira Marrafa | António Ribeiro

This paper reports the first results of an on-going research on evaluation of Machine Translation quality. The starting point for this work was the framework of ISLE (the International Standards for Language Engineering), which provides a classification for evaluation of Machine Translation. In order to make a quantitative evaluation of translation quality, we pursue a more consistent, fine-grained and comprehensive classification of possible translation errors and we propose metrics for sentence level errors, specifically lexical and syntactic errors.

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Evaluating machine translation output for an unknown source language: report of an ISLE-based investigation
Keith J. Miller | Donna M. Gates | Nancy Underwood | Josemina Magdalen

It is often assumed that knowledge of both the source and target languages is necessary in order to evaluate the output of a machine translation (MT) system. This paper reports on an experimental evaluation of Chinese-English MT and Spanish-English MT from output specifically designed for evaluators who do not read or speak Chinese or Spanish. An outline of the characteristics measured and evaluation follows.

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Setting a methodology for machine translation evaluation
Widad Mustafa El Hadi | Ismail Timimi | Marianne Dabbadie

In this paper some of the problems encountered in designing an evaluation for an MT system will be examined. The source text, in French, provided by INRA (Institut National pour la Recherche Agronomique i.e. National Institute for Agronomic Research) deals with biotechnology and animal reproduction. It has been translated into English. The output of the system (i.e. the result of the assembling of several components), as opposed to its individual modules or specific components (i.e. analysis, generation, grammar, lexicon, core, etc.), will be evaluated. Moreover, the evaluation will concentrate on translation quality and its fidelity to the source text. The evaluation is not comparative, which means that we tested a specific MT system, not necessarily representative of other MT systems that can be found on the market.

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Towards a two-stage taxonomy for machine translation evaluation
Andrei Popescu-Belis | Sandra Manzi | Maghi King

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Automatically predicting MT systems rankings compatible with fluency, adequacy and informativeness scores
Martin Rajman | Tony Hartley

The main goal of the work presented in this paper is to find an inexpensive and automatable way of predicting rankings of MT systems compatible with human evaluations of these systems expressed in the form of Fluency, Adequacy or Informativeness scores. Our approach is to establish whether there is a correlation between rankings derived from such scores and the ones that can be built on the basis of automatically computable attributes of syntactic or semantic nature. We present promising results obtained on the DARPA94 MT evaluation corpus.

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In one hundred words or less
Florence Reeder

This paper reports on research which aims to test the efficacy of applying automated evaluation techniques, originally designed for human second language learners, to machine translation (MT) system evaluation. We believe that such evaluation techniques will provide insight into MT evaluation, MT development, the human translation process and the human language learning process. The experiment described here looks only at the intelligibility of MT output. The evaluation technique is derived from a second language acquisition experiment that showed that assessors can differentiate native from non-native language essays in less than 100 words. Particularly illuminating for our purposes is the set of factor on which the assessors made their decisions. We duplicated this experiment to see if similar criteria could be elicited from duplicating the test using both human and machine translation outputs in the decision set. The encouraging results of this experiment, along with an analysis of language factors contributing to the successful outcomes, is presented here.

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The naming of things and the confusion of tongues: an MT metric
Florence Reeder | Keith Miller | Jennifer Doyon | John White

This paper reports the results of an experiment in machine translation (MT) evaluation, designed to determine whether easily/rapidly collected metrics can predict the human generated quality parameters of MT output. In this experiment we evaluated a system’s ability to translate named entities, and compared this measure with previous evaluation scores of fidelity and intelligibility. There are two significant benefits potentially associated with a correlation between traditional MT measures and named entity scores: the ability to automate named entity scoring and thus MT scoring; and insights into the linguistic aspects of task-based uses of MT, as captured in previous studies.

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Scaling the ISLE framework: validating tests of machine translation quality for multi-dimensional measurement
Michelle Vanni | Keith J. Miller

Work on comparing a set of linguistic test scores for MT output to a set of the same tests’ scores for naturally-occurring target language text (Jones and Rusk 2000) broke new ground in automating MT Evaluation. However, the tests used were selected on an ad hoc basis. In this paper, we report on work to extend our understanding, through refinement and validation, of suitable linguistic tests in the context of our novel approach to MTE. This approach was introduced in Miller and Vanni (2001a) and employs standard, rather than randomly-chosen, tests of MT output quality selected from the ISLE framework as well as a scoring system for predicting the type of information processing task performable with the output. Since the intent is to automate the scoring system, this work can also be viewed as the preliminary steps of algorithm design.

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Predicting intelligibility from fidelity in MT evaluation
John White

Attempts to formulate methods of automatically evaluating machine translation (MT) have generally looked at some attrinbute of translation and then tried, explicitly or implicitly, to extrapolate the measurement to cover a broader class of attributes. In particular, some studies have focused on measuring fidelity of translation, and inferring intelligibility from that, and others have taken the opposite approach. In this paper we examine the more fundamental question of whether, and to what extent, the one attribute can be predicted by the other. As a starting point we use the 1994 DARPA MT corpus, which has measures for both attributes, and perform a simple comparison of the behavior of each. Two hypotheses about a predictable inference between fidelity and intelligibility are compared with the comparative behavior across all language pairs and all documents in the corpus.

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Predicting MT fidelity from noun-compound handling
John White | Monika Forner

Approaches to the automation of machine translation (MT) evaluation have attempted, or presumed, to connect some rapidly measurable phenomenon with general attributes of the MT output and/or system. In particular, measurements of the fluency of output are often asserted to be predictive of the usefulness of MT output in information-intensive, downstream tasks. The connections between the fluency (“intelligibility”) of translation and its informational adequacy (“fidelity”) are not actually straightforward. This paper discussed a small experiment in isolating a particular contrastive linguistic phenomena common to both French-English and Spanish-English pairs, and attempts to associate that behavior in machine and human translations with known fidelity properties of those translations. Our results show a definite correlative trend.

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Comparative evaluation of the linguistic output of MT systems for translation and information purposes
Elia Yuste-Rodrigo | Francine Braun-Chen

This paper describes a Machine Translation (MT) evaluation experiment where emphasis is placed on the quality of output and the extent to which it is geared to different users' needs. Adopting a very specific scenario, that of a multilingual international organisation, a clear distinction is made between two user classes: translators and administrators. Whereas the first group requires MT output to be accurate and of good post-editable quality in order to produce a polished translation, the second group primarily needs informative data for carrying out other, non-linguistic tasks, and therefore uses MT more as an information-gathering and gisting tool. During the experiment, MT output of three different systems is compared in order to establish which MT system best serves the organisation's multilingual communication and information needs. This is a comparative usability- and adequacy-oriented evaluation in that it attempts to help such organisations decide which system produces the most adequate output for certain well-defined user types. To perform the experiment, criteria relating to both users and MT output are examined with reference to the ISLE taxonomy. The experiment comprises two evaluation phases, the first at sentence level, the second at overall text level. In both phases, evaluators make use of a 1-5 rating scale. Weighted results provide some insight into the systems' usability and adequacy for the purposes described above. As a conclusion, it is suggested that further research should be devoted to the most critical aspect of this exercise, namely defining meaningful and useful criteria for evaluating the post-editability and informativeness of MT output.