Ahmed El-Kishky


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CCAligned: A Massive Collection of Cross-Lingual Web-Document Pairs
Ahmed El-Kishky | Vishrav Chaudhary | Francisco Guzmán | Philipp Koehn
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Cross-lingual document alignment aims to identify pairs of documents in two distinct languages that are of comparable content or translations of each other. In this paper, we exploit the signals embedded in URLs to label web documents at scale with an average precision of 94.5% across different language pairs. We mine sixty-eight snapshots of the Common Crawl corpus and identify web document pairs that are translations of each other. We release a new web dataset consisting of over 392 million URL pairs from Common Crawl covering documents in 8144 language pairs of which 137 pairs include English. In addition to curating this massive dataset, we introduce baseline methods that leverage cross-lingual representations to identify aligned documents based on their textual content. Finally, we demonstrate the value of this parallel documents dataset through a downstream task of mining parallel sentences and measuring the quality of machine translations from models trained on this mined data. Our objective in releasing this dataset is to foster new research in cross-lingual NLP across a variety of low, medium, and high-resource languages.


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Facebook AI’s WAT19 Myanmar-English Translation Task Submission
Peng-Jen Chen | Jiajun Shen | Matthew Le | Vishrav Chaudhary | Ahmed El-Kishky | Guillaume Wenzek | Myle Ott | Marc’Aurelio Ranzato
Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Asian Translation

This paper describes Facebook AI’s submission to the WAT 2019 Myanmar-English translation task. Our baseline systems are BPE-based transformer models. We explore methods to leverage monolingual data to improve generalization, including self-training, back-translation and their combination. We further improve results by using noisy channel re-ranking and ensembling. We demonstrate that these techniques can significantly improve not only a system trained with additional monolingual data, but even the baseline system trained exclusively on the provided small parallel dataset. Our system ranks first in both directions according to human evaluation and BLEU, with a gain of over 8 BLEU points above the second best system.

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Constrained Sequence-to-sequence Semitic Root Extraction for Enriching Word Embeddings
Ahmed El-Kishky | Xingyu Fu | Aseel Addawood | Nahil Sobh | Clare Voss | Jiawei Han
Proceedings of the Fourth Arabic Natural Language Processing Workshop

In this paper, we tackle the problem of “root extraction” from words in the Semitic language family. A challenge in applying natural language processing techniques to these languages is the data sparsity problem that arises from their rich internal morphology, where the substructure is inherently non-concatenative and morphemes are interdigitated in word formation. While previous automated methods have relied on human-curated rules or multiclass classification, they have not fully leveraged the various combinations of regular, sequential concatenative morphology within the words and the internal interleaving within templatic stems of roots and patterns. To address this, we propose a constrained sequence-to-sequence root extraction method. Experimental results show our constrained model outperforms a variety of methods at root extraction. Furthermore, by enriching word embeddings with resulting decompositions, we show improved results on word analogy, word similarity, and language modeling tasks.


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Entropy-Based Subword Mining with an Application to Word Embeddings
Ahmed El-Kishky | Frank Xu | Aston Zhang | Stephen Macke | Jiawei Han
Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Subword/Character LEvel Models

Recent literature has shown a wide variety of benefits to mapping traditional one-hot representations of words and phrases to lower-dimensional real-valued vectors known as word embeddings. Traditionally, most word embedding algorithms treat each word as the finest meaningful semantic granularity and perform embedding by learning distinct embedding vectors for each word. Contrary to this line of thought, technical domains such as scientific and medical literature compose words from subword structures such as prefixes, suffixes, and root-words as well as compound words. Treating individual words as the finest-granularity unit discards meaningful shared semantic structure between words sharing substructures. This not only leads to poor embeddings for text corpora that have long-tail distributions, but also heuristic methods for handling out-of-vocabulary words. In this paper we propose SubwordMine, an entropy-based subword mining algorithm that is fast, unsupervised, and fully data-driven. We show that this allows for great cross-domain performance in identifying semantically meaningful subwords. We then investigate utilizing the mined subwords within the FastText embedding model and compare performance of the learned representations in a downstream language modeling task.