Human Evaluation of Multi-modal Neural Machine Translation: A Case-Study on E-Commerce Listing Titles

In this paper, we study how humans perceive the use of images as an additional knowledge source to machine-translate user-generated product listings in an e-commerce company. We conduct a human evaluation where we assess how a multi-modal neural machine translation (NMT) model compares to two text-only approaches: a conventional state-of-the-art attention-based NMT and a phrase-based statistical machine translation (PBSMT) model. We evaluate translations obtained with different systems and also discuss the data set of user-generated product listings, which in our case comprises both product listings and associated images. We found that humans preferred translations obtained with a PBSMT system to both text-only and multi-modal NMT over 56{\%} of the time. Nonetheless, human evaluators ranked translations from a multi-modal NMT model as better than those of a text-only NMT over 88{\%} of the time, which suggests that images do help NMT in this use-case.

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