Analyzing the Use of Influence Functions for Instance-Specific Data Filtering in Neural Machine Translation

24 Oct 2022  ·  Tsz Kin Lam, Eva Hasler, Felix Hieber ·

Customer feedback can be an important signal for improving commercial machine translation systems. One solution for fixing specific translation errors is to remove the related erroneous training instances followed by re-training of the machine translation system, which we refer to as instance-specific data filtering. Influence functions (IF) have been shown to be effective in finding such relevant training examples for classification tasks such as image classification, toxic speech detection and entailment task. Given a probing instance, IF find influential training examples by measuring the similarity of the probing instance with a set of training examples in gradient space. In this work, we examine the use of influence functions for Neural Machine Translation (NMT). We propose two effective extensions to a state of the art influence function and demonstrate on the sub-problem of copied training examples that IF can be applied more generally than handcrafted regular expressions.

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