Multilingual Unsupervised NMT using Shared Encoder and Language-Specific Decoders

Sukanta Sen, Kamal Kumar Gupta, Asif Ekbal, Pushpak Bhattacharyya


Abstract
In this paper, we propose a multilingual unsupervised NMT scheme which jointly trains multiple languages with a shared encoder and multiple decoders. Our approach is based on denoising autoencoding of each language and back-translating between English and multiple non-English languages. This results in a universal encoder which can encode any language participating in training into an inter-lingual representation, and language-specific decoders. Our experiments using only monolingual corpora show that multilingual unsupervised model performs better than the separately trained bilingual models achieving improvement of up to 1.48 BLEU points on WMT test sets. We also observe that even if we do not train the network for all possible translation directions, the network is still able to translate in a many-to-many fashion leveraging encoder’s ability to generate interlingual representation.
Anthology ID:
P19-1297
Volume:
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics
Month:
July
Year:
2019
Address:
Florence, Italy
Venue:
ACL
SIG:
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
3083–3089
Language:
URL:
https://www.aclweb.org/anthology/P19-1297
DOI:
10.18653/v1/P19-1297
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PDF:
http://aclanthology.lst.uni-saarland.de/P19-1297.pdf