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Joint Training for Neural Machine Translation Models with Monolingual Data

AAAI Conferences

Monolingual data have been demonstrated to be helpful in improving translation quality of both statistical machine translation (SMT) systems and neural machine translation (NMT) systems, especially in resource-poor or domain adaptation tasks where parallel data are not rich enough. In this paper, we propose a novel approach to better leveraging monolingual data for neural machine translation by jointly learning source-to-target and target-to-source NMT models for a language pair with a joint EM optimization method. The training process starts with two initial NMT models pre-trained on parallel data for each direction, and these two models are iteratively updated by incrementally decreasing translation losses on training data.In each iteration step, both NMT models are first used to translate monolingual data from one language to the other, forming pseudo-training data of the other NMT model. Then two new NMT models are learnt from parallel data together with the pseudo training data. Both NMT models are expected to be improved and better pseudo-training data can be generated in next step. Experiment results on Chinese-English and English-German translation tasks show that our approach can simultaneously improve translation quality of source-to-target and target-to-source models, significantly outperforming strong baseline systems which are enhanced with monolingual data for model training including back-translation.


Dual Learning for Machine Translation

Neural Information Processing Systems

While neural machine translation (NMT) is making good progress in the past two years, tens of millions of bilingual sentence pairs are needed for its training. However, human labeling is very costly. To tackle this training data bottleneck, we develop a dual-learning mechanism, which can enable an NMT system to automatically learn from unlabeled data through a dual-learning game. This mechanism is inspired by the following observation: any machine translation task has a dual task, e.g., English-to-French translation (primal) versus French-to-English translation (dual); the primal and dual tasks can form a closed loop, and generate informative feedback signals to train the translation models, even if without the involvement of a human labeler. In the dual-learning mechanism, we use one agent to represent the model for the primal task and the other agent to represent the model for the dual task, then ask them to teach each other through a reinforcement learning process. Based on the feedback signals generated during this process (e.g., the language-model likelihood of the output of a model, and the reconstruction error of the original sentence after the primal and dual translations), we can iteratively update the two models until convergence (e.g., using the policy gradient methods). We call the corresponding approach to neural machine translation \emph{dual-NMT}. Experiments show that dual-NMT works very well on English$\leftrightarrow$French translation; especially, by learning from monolingual data (with 10\% bilingual data for warm start), it achieves a comparable accuracy to NMT trained from the full bilingual data for the French-to-English translation task.


A Study of Reinforcement Learning for Neural Machine Translation

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Recent studies have shown that reinforcement learning (RL) is an effective approach for improving the performance of neural machine translation (NMT) system. However, due to its instability, successfully RL training is challenging, especially in real-world systems where deep models and large datasets are leveraged. In this paper, taking several large-scale translation tasks as testbeds, we conduct a systematic study on how to train better NMT models using reinforcement learning. We provide a comprehensive comparison of several important factors (e.g., baseline reward, reward shaping) in RL training. Furthermore, to fill in the gap that it remains unclear whether RL is still beneficial when monolingual data is used, we propose a new method to leverage RL to further boost the performance of NMT systems trained with source/target monolingual data. By integrating all our findings, we obtain competitive results on WMT14 English- German, WMT17 English-Chinese, and WMT17 Chinese-English translation tasks, especially setting a state-of-the-art performance on WMT17 Chinese-English translation task.


A Survey of Domain Adaptation for Neural Machine Translation

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Neural machine translation (NMT) is a deep learning based approach for machine translation, which yields the state-of-the-art translation performance in scenarios where large-scale parallel corpora are available. Although the high-quality and domain-specific translation is crucial in the real world, domain-specific corpora are usually scarce or nonexistent, and thus vanilla NMT performs poorly in such scenarios. Domain adaptation that leverages both out-of-domain parallel corpora as well as monolingual corpora for in-domain translation, is very important for domain-specific translation. In this paper, we give a comprehensive survey of the state-of-the-art domain adaptation techniques for NMT.


DiDi's Machine Translation System for WMT2020

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

This paper describes DiDi AI Labs' submission to the WMT2020 news translation shared task. We participate in the translation direction of Chinese->English. In this direction, we use the Transformer as our baseline model, and integrate several techniques for model enhancement, including data filtering, data selection, back-translation, fine-tuning, model ensembling, and re-ranking. As a result, our submission achieves a BLEU score of $36.6$ in Chinese->English.