Simultaneous translation, which starts translating each sentence after receiving only a few words in source sentence, has a vital role in many scenarios. Although the previous prefix-to-prefix framework is considered suitable for simultaneous translation and achieves good performance, it still has two inevitable drawbacks: the high computational resource costs caused by the need to train a separate model for each latency $k$ and the insufficient ability to encode information because each target token can only attend to a specific source prefix. We propose a novel framework that adopts a simple but effective decoding strategy which is designed for full-sentence models. Within this framework, training a single full-sentence model can achieve arbitrary given latency and save computational resources. Besides, with the competence of the full-sentence model to encode the whole sentence, our decoding strategy can enhance the information maintained in the decoded states in real time. Experimental results show that our method achieves better translation quality than baselines on 4 directions: Zh$\rightarrow$En, En$\rightarrow$Ro and En$\leftrightarrow$De.
State-of-the-art natural language processing systems rely on supervision in the form of annotated data to learn competent models. These models are generally trained on data in a single language (usually English), and cannot be directly used beyond that language. Since collecting data in every language is not realistic, there has been a growing interest in cross-lingual language understanding (XLU) and low-resource cross-language transfer. In this work, we construct an evaluation set for XLU by extending the development and test sets of the Multi-Genre Natural Language Inference Corpus (MultiNLI) to 15 languages, including low-resource languages such as Swahili and Urdu. We hope that our dataset, dubbed XNLI, will catalyze research in cross-lingual sentence understanding by providing an informative standard evaluation task. In addition, we provide several baselines for multilingual sentence understanding, including two based on machine translation systems, and two that use parallel data to train aligned multilingual bag-of-words and LSTM encoders. We find that XNLI represents a practical and challenging evaluation suite, and that directly translating the test data yields the best performance among available baselines.
Multimodal neural machine translation (NMT) has become an increasingly important area of research over the years because additional modalities, such as image data, can provide more context to textual data. Furthermore, the viability of training multimodal NMT models without a large parallel corpus continues to be investigated due to low availability of parallel sentences with images, particularly for English-Japanese data. However, this void can be filled with comparable sentences that contain bilingual terms and parallel phrases, which are naturally created through media such as social network posts and e-commerce product descriptions. In this paper, we propose a new multimodal English-Japanese corpus with comparable sentences that are compiled from existing image captioning datasets. In addition, we supplement our comparable sentences with a smaller parallel corpus for validation and test purposes. To test the performance of this comparable sentence translation scenario, we train several baseline NMT models with our comparable corpus and evaluate their English-Japanese translation performance. Due to low translation scores in our baseline experiments, we believe that current multimodal NMT models are not designed to effectively utilize comparable sentence data. Despite this, we hope for our corpus to be used to further research into multimodal NMT with comparable sentences.
Su, Jinsong (Xiamen University) | Tan, Zhixing (Xiamen University) | Xiong, Deyi (Soochow University) | Ji, Rongrong (Xiamen University) | Shi, Xiaodong (Xiamen University) | Liu, Yang (Tsinghua University)
Neural machine translation (NMT) heavily relies on word-level modelling to learn semantic representations of input sentences.However, for languages without natural word delimiters (e.g., Chinese) where input sentences have to be tokenized first,conventional NMT is confronted with two issues:1) it is difficult to find an optimal tokenization granularity for source sentence modelling, and2) errors in 1-best tokenizations may propagate to the encoder of NMT.To handle these issues, we propose word-lattice based Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) encoders for NMT,which generalize the standard RNN to word lattice topology.The proposed encoders take as input a word lattice that compactly encodes multiple tokenizations, and learn to generate new hidden states from arbitrarily many inputs and hidden states in preceding time steps.As such, the word-lattice based encoders not only alleviate the negative impact of tokenization errors but also are more expressive and flexible to embed input sentences.Experiment results on Chinese-English translation demonstrate the superiorities of the proposed encoders over the conventional encoder.
Su, Jinsong (Xiamen University) | Wu, Shan (Xiamen University And Chinese Academy of Sciences) | Xiong, Deyi (Soochow University) | Lu, Yaojie (Chinese Academy of Sciences) | Han, Xianpei (Chinese Academy of Sciences) | Zhang, Biao (Xiamen University)
Partially inspired by successful applications of variational recurrent neural networks, we propose a novel variational recurrent neural machine translation (VRNMT) model in this paper. Different from the variational NMT, VRNMT introduces a series of latent random variables to model the translation procedure of a sentence in a generative way, instead of a single latent variable. Specifically, the latent random variables are included into the hidden states of the NMT decoder with elements from the variational autoencoder. In this way, these variables are recurrently generated, which enables them to further capture strong and complex dependencies among the output translations at different timesteps. In order to deal with the challenges in performing efficient posterior inference and large-scale training during the incorporation of latent variables, we build a neural posterior approximator, and equip it with a reparameterization technique to estimate the variational lower bound. Experiments on Chinese-English and English-German translation tasks demonstrate that the proposed model achieves significant improvements over both the conventional and variational NMT models.