Meta Back-translation

ICLR 2021  ·  Hieu Pham, Xinyi Wang, Yiming Yang, Graham Neubig ·

Back-translation is an effective strategy to improve the performance of Neural Machine Translation~(NMT) by generating pseudo-parallel data. However, several recent works have found that better translation quality of the pseudo-parallel data does not necessarily lead to better final translation models, while lower-quality but more diverse data often yields stronger results... In this paper, we propose a novel method to generate pseudo-parallel data from a pre-trained back-translation model. Our method is a meta-learning algorithm which adapts a pre-trained back-translation model so that the pseudo-parallel data it generates would train a forward-translation model to do well on a validation set. In our evaluations in both the standard datasets WMT En-De'14 and WMT En-Fr'14, as well as a multilingual translation setting, our method leads to significant improvements over strong baselines. Our code will be made available. read more

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