Guillaume Lample


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Target Conditioning for One-to-Many Generation
Marie-Anne Lachaux | Armand Joulin | Guillaume Lample
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Neural Machine Translation (NMT) models often lack diversity in their generated translations, even when paired with search algorithm, like beam search. A challenge is that the diversity in translations are caused by the variability in the target language, and cannot be inferred from the source sentence alone. In this paper, we propose to explicitly model this one-to-many mapping by conditioning the decoder of a NMT model on a latent variable that represents the domain of target sentences. The domain is a discrete variable generated by a target encoder that is jointly trained with the NMT model.The predicted domain of target sentences are given as input to the decoder during training. At inference, we can generate diverse translations by decoding with different domains. Unlike our strongest baseline (Shen et al., 2019), our method can scale to any number of domains without affecting the performance or the training time. We assess the quality and diversity of translations generated by our model with several metrics, on three different datasets.


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The FLORES Evaluation Datasets for Low-Resource Machine Translation: Nepali–English and Sinhala–English
Francisco Guzmán | Peng-Jen Chen | Myle Ott | Juan Pino | Guillaume Lample | Philipp Koehn | Vishrav Chaudhary | Marc’Aurelio Ranzato
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

For machine translation, a vast majority of language pairs in the world are considered low-resource because they have little parallel data available. Besides the technical challenges of learning with limited supervision, it is difficult to evaluate methods trained on low-resource language pairs because of the lack of freely and publicly available benchmarks. In this work, we introduce the FLORES evaluation datasets for Nepali–English and Sinhala– English, based on sentences translated from Wikipedia. Compared to English, these are languages with very different morphology and syntax, for which little out-of-domain parallel data is available and for which relatively large amounts of monolingual data are freely available. We describe our process to collect and cross-check the quality of translations, and we report baseline performance using several learning settings: fully supervised, weakly supervised, semi-supervised, and fully unsupervised. Our experiments demonstrate that current state-of-the-art methods perform rather poorly on this benchmark, posing a challenge to the research community working on low-resource MT. Data and code to reproduce our experiments are available at


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XNLI: Evaluating Cross-lingual Sentence Representations
Alexis Conneau | Ruty Rinott | Guillaume Lample | Adina Williams | Samuel Bowman | Holger Schwenk | Veselin Stoyanov
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

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 14 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.

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Phrase-Based & Neural Unsupervised Machine Translation
Guillaume Lample | Myle Ott | Alexis Conneau | Ludovic Denoyer | Marc’Aurelio Ranzato
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Machine translation systems achieve near human-level performance on some languages, yet their effectiveness strongly relies on the availability of large amounts of parallel sentences, which hinders their applicability to the majority of language pairs. This work investigates how to learn to translate when having access to only large monolingual corpora in each language. We propose two model variants, a neural and a phrase-based model. Both versions leverage a careful initialization of the parameters, the denoising effect of language models and automatic generation of parallel data by iterative back-translation. These models are significantly better than methods from the literature, while being simpler and having fewer hyper-parameters. On the widely used WMT’14 English-French and WMT’16 German-English benchmarks, our models respectively obtain 28.1 and 25.2 BLEU points without using a single parallel sentence, outperforming the state of the art by more than 11 BLEU points. On low-resource languages like English-Urdu and English-Romanian, our methods achieve even better results than semi-supervised and supervised approaches leveraging the paucity of available bitexts. Our code for NMT and PBSMT is publicly available.

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What you can cram into a single $&!#* vector: Probing sentence embeddings for linguistic properties
Alexis Conneau | German Kruszewski | Guillaume Lample | Loïc Barrault | Marco Baroni
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Although much effort has recently been devoted to training high-quality sentence embeddings, we still have a poor understanding of what they are capturing. “Downstream” tasks, often based on sentence classification, are commonly used to evaluate the quality of sentence representations. The complexity of the tasks makes it however difficult to infer what kind of information is present in the representations. We introduce here 10 probing tasks designed to capture simple linguistic features of sentences, and we use them to study embeddings generated by three different encoders trained in eight distinct ways, uncovering intriguing properties of both encoders and training methods.


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Neural Architectures for Named Entity Recognition
Guillaume Lample | Miguel Ballesteros | Sandeep Subramanian | Kazuya Kawakami | Chris Dyer
Proceedings of the 2016 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

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Polyglot Neural Language Models: A Case Study in Cross-Lingual Phonetic Representation Learning
Yulia Tsvetkov | Sunayana Sitaram | Manaal Faruqui | Guillaume Lample | Patrick Littell | David Mortensen | Alan W Black | Lori Levin | Chris Dyer
Proceedings of the 2016 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies


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Evaluation of Word Vector Representations by Subspace Alignment
Yulia Tsvetkov | Manaal Faruqui | Wang Ling | Guillaume Lample | Chris Dyer
Proceedings of the 2015 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing