Greedy Search with Probabilistic N-gram Matching for Neural Machine Translation

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Authors Yang Feng, Xilin Chen, Chenze Shao
Journal/Conference Name EMNLP 2018 10
Paper Category
Paper Abstract Neural machine translation (NMT) models are usually trained with the word-level loss using the teacher forcing algorithm, which not only evaluates the translation improperly but also suffers from exposure bias. Sequence-level training under the reinforcement framework can mitigate the problems of the word-level loss, but its performance is unstable due to the high variance of the gradient estimation. On these grounds, we present a method with a differentiable sequence-level training objective based on probabilistic n-gram matching which can avoid the reinforcement framework. In addition, this method performs greedy search in the training which uses the predicted words as context just as at inference to alleviate the problem of exposure bias. Experiment results on the NIST Chinese-to-English translation tasks show that our method significantly outperforms the reinforcement-based algorithms and achieves an improvement of 1.5 BLEU points on average over a strong baseline system.
Date of publication 2018
Code Programming Language Python
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