Since the advent of Federated Learning (FL), research has applied these methods to natural language processing (NLP) tasks. Despite a plethora of papers in FL for NLP, no previous works have studied how multilingual text impacts FL algorithms. Furthermore, multilingual text provides an interesting avenue to examine the impact of non-IID text (e.g. different languages) on FL in naturally occurring data. We explore three multilingual language tasks, language modeling, machine translation, and text classification using differing federated and non-federated learning algorithms. Our results show that using pretrained models reduces the negative effects of FL, helping them to perform near or better than centralized (no privacy) learning, even when using non-IID partitioning.
Zero-shot cross-lingual information extraction (IE) describes the construction of an IE model for some target language, given existing annotations exclusively in some other language, typically English. While the advance of pretrained multilingual encoders suggests an easy optimism of “train on English, run on any language”, we find through a thorough exploration and extension of techniques that a combination of approaches, both new and old, leads to better performance than any one cross-lingual strategy in particular. We explore techniques including data projection and self-training, and how different pretrained encoders impact them. We use English-to-Arabic IE as our initial example, demonstrating strong performance in this setting for event extraction, named entity recognition, part-of-speech tagging, and dependency parsing. We then apply data projection and self-training to three tasks across eight target languages. Because no single set of techniques performs the best across all tasks, we encourage practitioners to explore various configurations of the techniques described in this work when seeking to improve on zero-shot training.
In this paper, we report our system submissions to all 6 tracks of the WNGT 2019 shared task on Document-Level Generation and Translation. The objective is to generate a textual document from either structured data: generation task, or a document in a different language: translation task. For the translation task, we focused on adapting a large scale system trained on WMT data by fine tuning it on the RotoWire data. For the generation task, we participated with two systems based on a selection and planning model followed by (a) a simple language model generation, and (b) a GPT-2 pre-trained language model approach. The selection and planning module chooses a subset of table records in order, and the language models produce text given such a subset.
Character-level models have been used extensively in recent years in NLP tasks as both supplements and replacements for closed-vocabulary token-level word representations. In one popular architecture, character-level LSTMs are used to feed token representations into a sequence tagger predicting token-level annotations such as part-of-speech (POS) tags. In this work, we examine the behavior of POS taggers across languages from the perspective of individual hidden units within the character LSTM. We aggregate the behavior of these units into language-level metrics which quantify the challenges that taggers face on languages with different morphological properties, and identify links between synthesis and affixation preference and emergent behavior of the hidden tagger layer. In a comparative experiment, we show how modifying the balance between forward and backward hidden units affects model arrangement and performance in these types of languages.