Revamping Multilingual Agreement Bidirectionally via Switched Back-translation for Multilingual Neural Machine Translation.

Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics(2024)

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Despite the fact that multilingual agreement (MA) has shown its importance for multilingual neural machine translation (MNMT), current methodologies in the field have two shortages: (i) require parallel data between multiple language pairs, which is not always realistic and (ii) optimize the agreement in an ambiguous direction, which hampers the translation performance. We present \textbf{B}idirectional \textbf{M}ultilingual \textbf{A}greement via \textbf{S}witched \textbf{B}ack-\textbf{t}ranslation (\textbf{BMA-SBT}), a novel and universal multilingual agreement framework for fine-tuning pre-trained MNMT models, which (i) exempts the need for aforementioned parallel data by using a novel method called switched BT that creates synthetic text written in another source language using the translation target and (ii) optimizes the agreement bidirectionally with the Kullback-Leibler Divergence loss. Experiments indicate that BMA-SBT clearly improves the strong baselines on the task of MNMT with three benchmarks: TED Talks, News, and Europarl. In-depth analyzes indicate that BMA-SBT brings additive improvements to the conventional BT method.
multilingual neural machine back-translation,multilingual agreement bidirectionally
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