Using Target-side Monolingual Data for Neural Machine Translation through Multi-task Learning

EMNLP 2017  ·  Tobias Domhan, Felix Hieber ·

The performance of Neural Machine Translation (NMT) models relies heavily on the availability of sufficient amounts of parallel data, and an efficient and effective way of leveraging the vastly available amounts of monolingual data has yet to be found. We propose to modify the decoder in a neural sequence-to-sequence model to enable multi-task learning for two strongly related tasks: target-side language modeling and translation... The decoder predicts the next target word through two channels, a target-side language model on the lowest layer, and an attentional recurrent model which is conditioned on the source representation. This architecture allows joint training on both large amounts of monolingual and moderate amounts of bilingual data to improve NMT performance. Initial results in the news domain for three language pairs show moderate but consistent improvements over a baseline trained on bilingual data only. read more

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