Kehai Chen


2020

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Content Word Aware Neural Machine Translation
Kehai Chen | Rui Wang | Masao Utiyama | Eiichiro Sumita
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Neural machine translation (NMT) encodes the source sentence in a universal way to generate the target sentence word-by-word. However, NMT does not consider the importance of word in the sentence meaning, for example, some words (i.e., content words) express more important meaning than others (i.e., function words). To address this limitation, we first utilize word frequency information to distinguish between content and function words in a sentence, and then design a content word-aware NMT to improve translation performance. Empirical results on the WMT14 English-to-German, WMT14 English-to-French, and WMT17 Chinese-to-English translation tasks show that the proposed methods can significantly improve the performance of Transformer-based NMT.

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Knowledge Distillation for Multilingual Unsupervised Neural Machine Translation
Haipeng Sun | Rui Wang | Kehai Chen | Masao Utiyama | Eiichiro Sumita | Tiejun Zhao
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Unsupervised neural machine translation (UNMT) has recently achieved remarkable results for several language pairs. However, it can only translate between a single language pair and cannot produce translation results for multiple language pairs at the same time. That is, research on multilingual UNMT has been limited. In this paper, we empirically introduce a simple method to translate between thirteen languages using a single encoder and a single decoder, making use of multilingual data to improve UNMT for all language pairs. On the basis of the empirical findings, we propose two knowledge distillation methods to further enhance multilingual UNMT performance. Our experiments on a dataset with English translated to and from twelve other languages (including three language families and six language branches) show remarkable results, surpassing strong unsupervised individual baselines while achieving promising performance between non-English language pairs in zero-shot translation scenarios and alleviating poor performance in low-resource language pairs.

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Robust Machine Reading Comprehension by Learning Soft labels
Zhenyu Zhao | Shuangzhi Wu | Muyun Yang | Kehai Chen | Tiejun Zhao
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Neural models have achieved great success on the task of machine reading comprehension (MRC), which are typically trained on hard labels. We argue that hard labels limit the model capability on generalization due to the label sparseness problem. In this paper, we propose a robust training method for MRC models to address this problem. Our method consists of three strategies, 1) label smoothing, 2) word overlapping, 3) distribution prediction. All of them help to train models on soft labels. We validate our approach on the representative architecture - ALBERT. Experimental results show that our method can greatly boost the baseline with 1% improvement in average, and achieve state-of-the-art performance on NewsQA and QUOREF.

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Robust Unsupervised Neural Machine Translation with Adversarial Denoising Training
Haipeng Sun | Rui Wang | Kehai Chen | Xugang Lu | Masao Utiyama | Eiichiro Sumita | Tiejun Zhao
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Unsupervised neural machine translation (UNMT) has recently attracted great interest in the machine translation community. The main advantage of the UNMT lies in its easy collection of required large training text sentences while with only a slightly worse performance than supervised neural machine translation which requires expensive annotated translation pairs on some translation tasks. In most studies, the UMNT is trained with clean data without considering its robustness to the noisy data. However, in real-world scenarios, there usually exists noise in the collected input sentences which degrades the performance of the translation system since the UNMT is sensitive to the small perturbations of the input sentences. In this paper, we first time explicitly take the noisy data into consideration to improve the robustness of the UNMT based systems. First of all, we clearly defined two types of noises in training sentences, i.e., word noise and word order noise, and empirically investigate its effect in the UNMT, then we propose adversarial training methods with denoising process in the UNMT. Experimental results on several language pairs show that our proposed methods substantially improved the robustness of the conventional UNMT systems in noisy scenarios.

2019

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Recurrent Positional Embedding for Neural Machine Translation
Kehai Chen | Rui Wang | Masao Utiyama | Eiichiro Sumita
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

In the Transformer network architecture, positional embeddings are used to encode order dependencies into the input representation. However, this input representation only involves static order dependencies based on discrete numerical information, that is, are independent of word content. To address this issue, this work proposes a recurrent positional embedding approach based on word vector. In this approach, these recurrent positional embeddings are learned by a recurrent neural network, encoding word content-based order dependencies into the input representation. They are then integrated into the existing multi-head self-attention model as independent heads or part of each head. The experimental results revealed that the proposed approach improved translation performance over that of the state-of-the-art Transformer baseline in WMT’14 English-to-German and NIST Chinese-to-English translation tasks.

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English-Myanmar Supervised and Unsupervised NMT: NICT’s Machine Translation Systems at WAT-2019
Rui Wang | Haipeng Sun | Kehai Chen | Chenchen Ding | Masao Utiyama | Eiichiro Sumita
Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Asian Translation

This paper presents the NICT’s participation (team ID: NICT) in the 6th Workshop on Asian Translation (WAT-2019) shared translation task, specifically Myanmar (Burmese) - English task in both translation directions. We built neural machine translation (NMT) systems for these tasks. Our NMT systems were trained with language model pretraining. Back-translation technology is adopted to NMT. Our NMT systems rank the third in English-to-Myanmar and the second in Myanmar-to-English according to BLEU score.

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Unsupervised Bilingual Word Embedding Agreement for Unsupervised Neural Machine Translation
Haipeng Sun | Rui Wang | Kehai Chen | Masao Utiyama | Eiichiro Sumita | Tiejun Zhao
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Unsupervised bilingual word embedding (UBWE), together with other technologies such as back-translation and denoising, has helped unsupervised neural machine translation (UNMT) achieve remarkable results in several language pairs. In previous methods, UBWE is first trained using non-parallel monolingual corpora and then this pre-trained UBWE is used to initialize the word embedding in the encoder and decoder of UNMT. That is, the training of UBWE and UNMT are separate. In this paper, we first empirically investigate the relationship between UBWE and UNMT. The empirical findings show that the performance of UNMT is significantly affected by the performance of UBWE. Thus, we propose two methods that train UNMT with UBWE agreement. Empirical results on several language pairs show that the proposed methods significantly outperform conventional UNMT.

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Neural Machine Translation with Reordering Embeddings
Kehai Chen | Rui Wang | Masao Utiyama | Eiichiro Sumita
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

The reordering model plays an important role in phrase-based statistical machine translation. However, there are few works that exploit the reordering information in neural machine translation. In this paper, we propose a reordering mechanism to learn the reordering embedding of a word based on its contextual information. These learned reordering embeddings are stacked together with self-attention networks to learn sentence representation for machine translation. The reordering mechanism can be easily integrated into both the encoder and the decoder in the Transformer translation system. Experimental results on WMT’14 English-to-German, NIST Chinese-to-English, and WAT Japanese-to-English translation tasks demonstrate that the proposed methods can significantly improve the performance of the Transformer.

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Sentence-Level Agreement for Neural Machine Translation
Mingming Yang | Rui Wang | Kehai Chen | Masao Utiyama | Eiichiro Sumita | Min Zhang | Tiejun Zhao
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

The training objective of neural machine translation (NMT) is to minimize the loss between the words in the translated sentences and those in the references. In NMT, there is a natural correspondence between the source sentence and the target sentence. However, this relationship has only been represented using the entire neural network and the training objective is computed in word-level. In this paper, we propose a sentence-level agreement module to directly minimize the difference between the representation of source and target sentence. The proposed agreement module can be integrated into NMT as an additional training objective function and can also be used to enhance the representation of the source sentences. Empirical results on the NIST Chinese-to-English and WMT English-to-German tasks show the proposed agreement module can significantly improve the NMT performance.

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Lattice-Based Transformer Encoder for Neural Machine Translation
Fengshun Xiao | Jiangtong Li | Hai Zhao | Rui Wang | Kehai Chen
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Neural machine translation (NMT) takes deterministic sequences for source representations. However, either word-level or subword-level segmentations have multiple choices to split a source sequence with different word segmentors or different subword vocabulary sizes. We hypothesize that the diversity in segmentations may affect the NMT performance. To integrate different segmentations with the state-of-the-art NMT model, Transformer, we propose lattice-based encoders to explore effective word or subword representation in an automatic way during training. We propose two methods: 1) lattice positional encoding and 2) lattice-aware self-attention. These two methods can be used together and show complementary to each other to further improve translation performance. Experiment results show superiorities of lattice-based encoders in word-level and subword-level representations over conventional Transformer encoder.

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NICT’s Supervised Neural Machine Translation Systems for the WMT19 News Translation Task
Raj Dabre | Kehai Chen | Benjamin Marie | Rui Wang | Atsushi Fujita | Masao Utiyama | Eiichiro Sumita
Proceedings of the Fourth Conference on Machine Translation (Volume 2: Shared Task Papers, Day 1)

In this paper, we describe our supervised neural machine translation (NMT) systems that we developed for the news translation task for Kazakh↔English, Gujarati↔English, Chinese↔English, and English→Finnish translation directions. We focused on leveraging multilingual transfer learning and back-translation for the extremely low-resource language pairs: Kazakh↔English and Gujarati↔English translation. For the Chinese↔English translation, we used the provided parallel data augmented with a large quantity of back-translated monolingual data to train state-of-the-art NMT systems. We then employed techniques that have been proven to be most effective, such as back-translation, fine-tuning, and model ensembling, to generate the primary submissions of Chinese↔English. For English→Finnish, our submission from WMT18 remains a strong baseline despite the increase in parallel corpora for this year’s task.

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NICT’s Unsupervised Neural and Statistical Machine Translation Systems for the WMT19 News Translation Task
Benjamin Marie | Haipeng Sun | Rui Wang | Kehai Chen | Atsushi Fujita | Masao Utiyama | Eiichiro Sumita
Proceedings of the Fourth Conference on Machine Translation (Volume 2: Shared Task Papers, Day 1)

This paper presents the NICT’s participation in the WMT19 unsupervised news translation task. We participated in the unsupervised translation direction: German-Czech. Our primary submission to the task is the result of a simple combination of our unsupervised neural and statistical machine translation systems. Our system is ranked first for the German-to-Czech translation task, using only the data provided by the organizers (“constraint’”), according to both BLEU-cased and human evaluation. We also performed contrastive experiments with other language pairs, namely, English-Gujarati and English-Kazakh, to better assess the effectiveness of unsupervised machine translation in for distant language pairs and in truly low-resource conditions.

2017

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Context-Aware Smoothing for Neural Machine Translation
Kehai Chen | Rui Wang | Masao Utiyama | Eiichiro Sumita | Tiejun Zhao
Proceedings of the Eighth International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

In Neural Machine Translation (NMT), each word is represented as a low-dimension, real-value vector for encoding its syntax and semantic information. This means that even if the word is in a different sentence context, it is represented as the fixed vector to learn source representation. Moreover, a large number of Out-Of-Vocabulary (OOV) words, which have different syntax and semantic information, are represented as the same vector representation of “unk”. To alleviate this problem, we propose a novel context-aware smoothing method to dynamically learn a sentence-specific vector for each word (including OOV words) depending on its local context words in a sentence. The learned context-aware representation is integrated into the NMT to improve the translation performance. Empirical results on NIST Chinese-to-English translation task show that the proposed approach achieves 1.78 BLEU improvements on average over a strong attentional NMT, and outperforms some existing systems.

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Instance Weighting for Neural Machine Translation Domain Adaptation
Rui Wang | Masao Utiyama | Lemao Liu | Kehai Chen | Eiichiro Sumita
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Instance weighting has been widely applied to phrase-based machine translation domain adaptation. However, it is challenging to be applied to Neural Machine Translation (NMT) directly, because NMT is not a linear model. In this paper, two instance weighting technologies, i.e., sentence weighting and domain weighting with a dynamic weight learning strategy, are proposed for NMT domain adaptation. Empirical results on the IWSLT English-German/French tasks show that the proposed methods can substantially improve NMT performance by up to 2.7-6.7 BLEU points, outperforming the existing baselines by up to 1.6-3.6 BLEU points.

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Neural Machine Translation with Source Dependency Representation
Kehai Chen | Rui Wang | Masao Utiyama | Lemao Liu | Akihiro Tamura | Eiichiro Sumita | Tiejun Zhao
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Source dependency information has been successfully introduced into statistical machine translation. However, there are only a few preliminary attempts for Neural Machine Translation (NMT), such as concatenating representations of source word and its dependency label together. In this paper, we propose a novel NMT with source dependency representation to improve translation performance of NMT, especially long sentences. Empirical results on NIST Chinese-to-English translation task show that our method achieves 1.6 BLEU improvements on average over a strong NMT system.