Mikko Aulamo


Boosting Neural Machine Translation from Finnish to Northern Sámi with Rule-Based Backtranslation
Mikko Aulamo | Sami Virpioja | Yves Scherrer | Jörg Tiedemann
Proceedings of the 23rd Nordic Conference on Computational Linguistics (NoDaLiDa)

We consider a low-resource translation task from Finnish into Northern Sámi. Collecting all available parallel data between the languages, we obtain around 30,000 sentence pairs. However, there exists a significantly larger monolingual Northern Sámi corpus, as well as a rule-based machine translation (RBMT) system between the languages. To make the best use of the monolingual data in a neural machine translation (NMT) system, we use the backtranslation approach to create synthetic parallel data from it using both NMT and RBMT systems. Evaluating the results on an in-domain test set and a small out-of-domain set, we find that the RBMT backtranslation outperforms NMT backtranslation clearly for the out-of-domain test set, but also slightly for the in-domain data, for which the NMT backtranslation model provided clearly better BLEU scores than the RBMT. In addition, combining both backtranslated data sets improves the RBMT approach only for the in-domain test set. This suggests that the RBMT system provides general-domain knowledge that cannot be found from the relative small parallel training data.


The University of Helsinki Submission to the IWSLT2020 Offline SpeechTranslation Task
Raúl Vázquez | Mikko Aulamo | Umut Sulubacak | Jörg Tiedemann
Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation

This paper describes the University of Helsinki Language Technology group’s participation in the IWSLT 2020 offline speech translation task, addressing the translation of English audio into German text. In line with this year’s task objective, we train both cascade and end-to-end systems for spoken language translation. We opt for an end-to-end multitasking architecture with shared internal representations and a cascade approach that follows a standard procedure consisting of ASR, correction, and MT stages. We also describe the experiments that served as a basis for the submitted systems. Our experiments reveal that multitasking training with shared internal representations is not only possible but allows for knowledge-transfer across modalities.

OpusTools and Parallel Corpus Diagnostics
Mikko Aulamo | Umut Sulubacak | Sami Virpioja | Jörg Tiedemann
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

This paper introduces OpusTools, a package for downloading and processing parallel corpora included in the OPUS corpus collection. The package implements tools for accessing compressed data in their archived release format and make it possible to easily convert between common formats. OpusTools also includes tools for language identification and data filtering as well as tools for importing data from various sources into the OPUS format. We show the use of these tools in parallel corpus creation and data diagnostics. The latter is especially useful for the identification of potential problems and errors in the extensive data set. Using these tools, we can now monitor the validity of data sets and improve the overall quality and consitency of the data collection.

The FISKMÖ Project: Resources and Tools for Finnish-Swedish Machine Translation and Cross-Linguistic Research
Jörg Tiedemann | Tommi Nieminen | Mikko Aulamo | Jenna Kanerva | Akseli Leino | Filip Ginter | Niko Papula
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

This paper presents FISKMÖ, a project that focuses on the development of resources and tools for cross-linguistic research and machine translation between Finnish and Swedish. The goal of the project is the compilation of a massive parallel corpus out of translated material collected from web sources, public and private organisations and language service providers in Finland with its two official languages. The project also aims at the development of open and freely accessible translation services for those two languages for the general purpose and for domain-specific use. We have released new data sets with over 3 million translation units, a benchmark test set for MT development, pre-trained neural MT models with high coverage and competitive performance and a self-contained MT plugin for a popular CAT tool. The latter enables offline translation without dependencies on external services making it possible to work with highly sensitive data without compromising security concerns.

OpusFilter: A Configurable Parallel Corpus Filtering Toolbox
Mikko Aulamo | Sami Virpioja | Jörg Tiedemann
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations

This paper introduces OpusFilter, a flexible and modular toolbox for filtering parallel corpora. It implements a number of components based on heuristic filters, language identification libraries, character-based language models, and word alignment tools, and it can easily be extended with custom filters. Bitext segments can be ranked according to their quality or domain match using single features or a logistic regression model that can be trained without manually labeled training data. We demonstrate the effectiveness of OpusFilter on the example of a Finnish-English news translation task based on noisy web-crawled training data. Applying our tool leads to improved translation quality while significantly reducing the size of the training data, also clearly outperforming an alternative ranking given in the crawled data set. Furthermore, we show the ability of OpusFilter to perform data selection for domain adaptation.


The OPUS Resource Repository: An Open Package for Creating Parallel Corpora and Machine Translation Services
Mikko Aulamo | Jörg Tiedemann
Proceedings of the 22nd Nordic Conference on Computational Linguistics

This paper presents a flexible and powerful system for creating parallel corpora and for running neural machine translation services. Our package provides a scalable data repository backend that offers transparent data pre-processing pipelines and automatic alignment procedures that facilitate the compilation of extensive parallel data sets from a variety of sources. Moreover, we develop a web-based interface that constitutes an intuitive frontend for end-users of the platform. The whole system can easily be distributed over virtual machines and implements a sophisticated permission system with secure connections and a flexible database for storing arbitrary metadata. Furthermore, we also provide an interface for neural machine translation that can run as a service on virtual machines, which also incorporates a connection to the data repository software.


Paraphrase Detection on Noisy Subtitles in Six Languages
Eetu Sjöblom | Mathias Creutz | Mikko Aulamo
Proceedings of the 2018 EMNLP Workshop W-NUT: The 4th Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text

We perform automatic paraphrase detection on subtitle data from the Opusparcus corpus comprising six European languages: German, English, Finnish, French, Russian, and Swedish. We train two types of supervised sentence embedding models: a word-averaging (WA) model and a gated recurrent averaging network (GRAN) model. We find out that GRAN outperforms WA and is more robust to noisy training data. Better results are obtained with more and noisier data than less and cleaner data. Additionally, we experiment on other datasets, without reaching the same level of performance, because of domain mismatch between training and test data.