Pervasive Attention: 2D Convolutional Neural Networks for Sequence-to-Sequence Prediction

CONLL 2018  ·  Maha Elbayad, Laurent Besacier, Jakob Verbeek ·

Current state-of-the-art machine translation systems are based on encoder-decoder architectures, that first encode the input sequence, and then generate an output sequence based on the input encoding. Both are interfaced with an attention mechanism that recombines a fixed encoding of the source tokens based on the decoder state... We propose an alternative approach which instead relies on a single 2D convolutional neural network across both sequences. Each layer of our network re-codes source tokens on the basis of the output sequence produced so far. Attention-like properties are therefore pervasive throughout the network. Our model yields excellent results, outperforming state-of-the-art encoder-decoder systems, while being conceptually simpler and having fewer parameters. read more

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Task Dataset Model Metric Name Metric Value Global Rank Result Benchmark
Machine Translation IWSLT2015 English-German Pervasive Attention BLEU score 27.99 # 3
Machine Translation IWSLT2015 German-English Pervasive Attention BLEU score 34.18 # 2


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