Simultaneous translation (ST) starts translations synchronously while reading source sentences, and is used in many online scenarios. The previous wait-k policy is concise and achieved good results in ST. However, wait-k policy faces two weaknesses: low training speed caused by the recalculation of hidden states and lack of future source information to guide training. For the low training speed, we propose an incremental Transformer with an average embedding layer (AEL) to accelerate the speed of calculation of the hidden states during training. For future-guided training, we propose a conventional Transformer as the teacher of the incremental Transformer, and try to invisibly embed some future information in the model through knowledge distillation. We conducted experiments on Chinese-English and German-English simultaneous translation tasks and compared with the wait-k policy to evaluate the proposed method. Our method can effectively increase the training speed by about 28 times on average at different k and implicitly embed some predictive abilities in the model, achieving better translation quality than wait-k baseline.
Simultaneous speech-to-speech translation is widely useful but extremely challenging, since it needs to generate target-language speech concurrently with the source-language speech, with only a few seconds delay. In addition, it needs to continuously translate a stream of sentences, but all recent solutions merely focus on the single-sentence scenario. As a result, current approaches accumulate latencies progressively when the speaker talks faster, and introduce unnatural pauses when the speaker talks slower. To overcome these issues, we propose Self-Adaptive Translation (SAT) which flexibly adjusts the length of translations to accommodate different source speech rates. At similar levels of translation quality (as measured by BLEU), our method generates more fluent target speech (as measured by the naturalness metric MOS) with substantially lower latency than the baseline, in both Zh <-> En directions.
Recently, simultaneous translation has gathered a lot of attention since it enables compelling applications such as subtitle translation for a live event or real-time video-call translation. Some of these translation applications allow editing of partial translation giving rise to re-translation approaches. The current re-translation approaches are based on autoregressive sequence generation models (ReTA), which generate tar-get tokens in the (partial) translation sequentially. The multiple re-translations with sequential generation inReTAmodelslead to an increased inference time gap between the incoming source input and the corresponding target output as the source input grows. Besides, due to the large number of inference operations involved, the ReTA models are not favorable for resource-constrained devices. In this work, we propose a faster re-translation system based on a non-autoregressive sequence generation model (FReTNA) to overcome the aforementioned limitations. We evaluate the proposed model on multiple translation tasks and our model reduces the inference times by several orders and achieves a competitive BLEUscore compared to the ReTA and streaming (Wait-k) models.The proposed model reduces the average computation time by a factor of 20 when compared to the ReTA model by incurring a small drop in the translation quality. It also outperforms the streaming-based Wait-k model both in terms of computation time (1.5 times lower) and translation quality.
In simultaneous machine translation, the system needs to incrementally generate the output translation before the input sentence ends. This is a coupled decision process consisting of a programmer and interpreter. The programmer's policy decides about when to WRITE the next output or READ the next input, and the interpreter's policy decides what word to write. We present an imitation learning (IL) approach to efficiently learn effective coupled programmer-interpreter policies. To enable IL, we present an algorithmic oracle to produce oracle READ/WRITE actions for training bilingual sentence-pairs using the notion of word alignments. We attribute the effectiveness of the learned coupled policies to (i) scheduled sampling addressing the coupled exposure bias, and (ii) quality of oracle actions capturing enough information from the partial input before writing the output. Experiments show our method outperforms strong baselines in terms of translation quality and delay, when translating from German/Arabic/Czech/Bulgarian/Romanian to English.
Existing approaches to neural machine translation (NMT) generate the target language sequence token by token from left to right. However, this kind of unidirectional decoding framework cannot make full use of the target-side future contexts which can be produced in a right-to-left decoding direction, and thus suffers from the issue of unbalanced outputs. In this paper, we introduce a synchronous bidirectional neural machine translation (SB-NMT) that predicts its outputs using left-to-right and right-to-left decoding simultaneously and interactively, in order to leverage both of the history and future information at the same time. Specifically, we first propose a new algorithm that enables synchronous bidirectional decoding in a single model. Then, we present an interactive decoding model in which left-to-right (right-to-left) generation does not only depend on its previously generated outputs, but also relies on future contexts predicted by right-to-left (left-to-right) decoding. We extensively evaluate the proposed SB-NMT model on large-scale NIST Chinese-English, WMT14 English-German, and WMT18 Russian-English translation tasks. Experimental results demonstrate that our model achieves significant improvements over the strong Transformer model by 3.92, 1.49 and 1.04 BLEU points respectively, and obtains the state-of-the-art performance on Chinese-English and English-German translation tasks.