Han Lu


pdf bib
Handling Homographs in Neural Machine Translation
Frederick Liu | Han Lu | Graham Neubig
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long Papers)

Homographs, words with different meanings but the same surface form, have long caused difficulty for machine translation systems, as it is difficult to select the correct translation based on the context. However, with the advent of neural machine translation (NMT) systems, which can theoretically take into account global sentential context, one may hypothesize that this problem has been alleviated. In this paper, we first provide empirical evidence that existing NMT systems in fact still have significant problems in properly translating ambiguous words. We then proceed to describe methods, inspired by the word sense disambiguation literature, that model the context of the input word with context-aware word embeddings that help to differentiate the word sense before feeding it into the encoder. Experiments on three language pairs demonstrate that such models improve the performance of NMT systems both in terms of BLEU score and in the accuracy of translating homographs.


pdf bib
Learning Character-level Compositionality with Visual Features
Frederick Liu | Han Lu | Chieh Lo | Graham Neubig
Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Previous work has modeled the compositionality of words by creating character-level models of meaning, reducing problems of sparsity for rare words. However, in many writing systems compositionality has an effect even on the character-level: the meaning of a character is derived by the sum of its parts. In this paper, we model this effect by creating embeddings for characters based on their visual characteristics, creating an image for the character and running it through a convolutional neural network to produce a visual character embedding. Experiments on a text classification task demonstrate that such model allows for better processing of instances with rare characters in languages such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Additionally, qualitative analyses demonstrate that our proposed model learns to focus on the parts of characters that carry topical content which resulting in embeddings that are coherent in visual space.