DICTDIS: Dictionary Constrained Disambiguation for Improved NMT

13 Oct 2022  ·  Ayush Maheshwari, Piyush Sharma, Preethi Jyothi, Ganesh Ramakrishnan ·

Domain-specific neural machine translation (NMT) systems (\eg, in educational applications) are socially significant with the potential to help make information accessible to a diverse set of users in multilingual societies. It is desirable that such NMT systems be lexically constrained and draw from domain-specific dictionaries. Dictionaries could present multiple candidate translations for a source word/phrase due to the polysemous nature of words. The onus is then on the NMT model to choose the contextually most appropriate candidate. Prior work has largely ignored this problem and focused on the single candidate constraint setting wherein the target word or phrase is replaced by a single constraint. In this work we present \dictdis, a lexically constrained NMT system that disambiguates between multiple candidate translations derived from dictionaries. We achieve this by augmenting training data with multiple dictionary candidates to actively encourage disambiguation during training by implicitly aligning multiple candidate constraints. We demonstrate the utility of \dictdis\ via extensive experiments on English-Hindi and English-German sentences in a variety of domains including regulatory, finance, engineering. We also present comparisons on standard benchmark test datasets. In comparison with existing approaches for lexically constrained and unconstrained NMT, we demonstrate superior performance with respect to constraint copy and disambiguation related measures on all domains while also obtaining improved fluency of up to 2-3 BLEU points on some domains.

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