Shimin Tao

Also published as: ShiMin Tao


The HW-TSC’s Offline Speech Translation System for IWSLT 2022 Evaluation
Yinglu Li | Minghan Wang | Jiaxin Guo | Xiaosong Qiao | Yuxia Wang | Daimeng Wei | Chang Su | Yimeng Chen | Min Zhang | Shimin Tao | Hao Yang | Ying Qin
Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2022)

This paper describes the HW-TSC’s designation of the Offline Speech Translation System submitted for IWSLT 2022 Evaluation. We explored both cascade and end-to-end system on three language tracks (en-de, en-zh and en-ja), and we chose the cascade one as our primary submission. For the automatic speech recognition (ASR) model of cascade system, there are three ASR models including Conformer, S2T-Transformer and U2 trained on the mixture of five datasets. During inference, transcripts are generated with the help of domain controlled generation strategy. Context-aware reranking and ensemble based anti-interference strategy are proposed to produce better ASR outputs. For machine translation part, we pretrained three translation models on WMT21 dataset and fine-tuned them on in-domain corpora. Our cascade system shows competitive performance than the known offline systems in the industry and academia.

The HW-TSC’s Simultaneous Speech Translation System for IWSLT 2022 Evaluation
Minghan Wang | Jiaxin Guo | Yinglu Li | Xiaosong Qiao | Yuxia Wang | Zongyao Li | Chang Su | Yimeng Chen | Min Zhang | Shimin Tao | Hao Yang | Ying Qin
Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2022)

This paper presents our work in the participation of IWSLT 2022 simultaneous speech translation evaluation. For the track of text-to-text (T2T), we participate in three language pairs and build wait-k based simultaneous MT (SimulMT) model for the task. The model was pretrained on WMT21 news corpora, and was further improved with in-domain fine-tuning and self-training. For the speech-to-text (S2T) track, we designed both cascade and end-to-end form in three language pairs. The cascade system is composed of a chunking-based streaming ASR model and the SimulMT model used in the T2T track. The end-to-end system is a simultaneous speech translation (SimulST) model based on wait-k strategy, which is directly trained on a synthetic corpus produced by translating all texts of ASR corpora into specific target language with an offline MT model. It also contains a heuristic sentence breaking strategy, preventing it from finishing the translation before the the end of the speech. We evaluate our systems on the MUST-C tst-COMMON dataset and show that the end-to-end system is competitive to the cascade one. Meanwhile, we also demonstrate that the SimulMT model can be efficiently optimized by these approaches, resulting in the improvements of 1-2 BLEU points.

The HW-TSC’s Speech to Speech Translation System for IWSLT 2022 Evaluation
Jiaxin Guo | Yinglu Li | Minghan Wang | Xiaosong Qiao | Yuxia Wang | Hengchao Shang | Chang Su | Yimeng Chen | Min Zhang | Shimin Tao | Hao Yang | Ying Qin
Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2022)

The paper presents the HW-TSC’s pipeline and results of Offline Speech to Speech Translation for IWSLT 2022. We design a cascade system consisted of an ASR model, machine translation model and TTS model to convert the speech from one language into another language(en-de). For the ASR part, we find that better performance can be obtained by ensembling multiple heterogeneous ASR models and performing reranking on beam candidates. And we find that the combination of context-aware reranking strategy and MT model fine-tuned on the in-domain dataset is helpful to improve the performance. Because it can mitigate the problem that the inconsistency in transcripts caused by the lack of context. Finally, we use VITS model provided officially to reproduce audio files from the translation hypothesis.

HW-TSC at SemEval-2022 Task 7: Ensemble Model Based on Pretrained Models for Identifying Plausible Clarifications
Xiaosong Qiao | Yinglu Li | Min Zhang | Minghan Wang | Hao Yang | Shimin Tao | Qin Ying
Proceedings of the 16th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2022)

This paper describes the system for the identifying Plausible Clarifications of Implicit and Underspecified Phrases. This task was set up as an English cloze task, in which clarifications are presented as possible fillers and systems have to score how well each filler plausibly fits in a given context. For this shared task, we propose our own solutions, including supervised proaches, unsupervised approaches with pretrained models, and then we use these models to build an ensemble model. Finally we get the 2nd best result in the subtask1 which is a classification task, and the 3rd best result in the subtask2 which is a regression task.

Neighbors Are Not Strangers: Improving Non-Autoregressive Translation under Low-Frequency Lexical Constraints
Chun Zeng | Jiangjie Chen | Tianyi Zhuang | Rui Xu | Hao Yang | Qin Ying | Shimin Tao | Yanghua Xiao
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Lexically constrained neural machine translation (NMT) draws much industrial attention for its practical usage in specific domains.However, current autoregressive approaches suffer from high latency.In this paper, we focus on non-autoregressive translation (NAT) for this problem for its efficiency advantage.We identify that current constrained NAT models, which are based on iterative editing, do not handle low-frequency constraints well.To this end, we propose a plug-in algorithm for this line of work, i.e., Aligned Constrained Training (ACT), which alleviates this problem by familiarizing the model with the source-side context of the constraints.Experiments on the general and domain datasets show that our model improves over the backbone constrained NAT model in constraint preservation and translation quality, especially for rare constraints.

Diformer: Directional Transformer for Neural Machine Translation
Minghan Wang | Jiaxin Guo | Yuxia Wang | Daimeng Wei | Hengchao Shang | Yinglu Li | Chang Su | Yimeng Chen | Min Zhang | Shimin Tao | Hao Yang
Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Conference of the European Association for Machine Translation

Autoregressive (AR) and Non-autoregressive (NAR) models have their own superiority on the performance and latency, combining them into one model may take advantage of both. Current combination frameworks focus more on the integration of multiple decoding paradigms with a unified generative model, e.g. Masked Language Model. However, the generalization can be harmful on the performance due to the gap between training objective and inference. In this paper, we aim to close the gap by preserving the original objective of AR and NAR under a unified framework. Specifically, we propose the Directional Transformer (Diformer) by jointly modelling AR and NAR into three generation directions (left-to-right, right-to-left and straight) with a newly introduced direction variable, which works by controlling the prediction of each token to have specific dependencies under that direction. The unification achieved by direction successfully preserves the original dependency assumption used in AR and NAR, retaining both generalization and performance. Experiments on 4 WMT benchmarks demonstrate that Diformer outperforms current united-modelling works with more than 1.5 BLEU points for both AR and NAR decoding, and is also competitive to the state-of-the-art independent AR and NAR models.

HwTscSU’s Submissions on WAT 2022 Shared Task
Yilun Liu | Zhen Zhang | Shimin Tao | Junhui Li | Hao Yang
Proceedings of the 9th Workshop on Asian Translation

In this paper we describe our submission to the shared tasks of the 9th Workshop on Asian Translation (WAT 2022) on NICT–SAP under the team name ”HwTscSU”. The tasks involve translation from 5 languages into English and vice-versa in two domains: IT domain and Wikinews domain. The purpose is to determine the feasibility of multilingualism, domain adaptation or document-level knowledge given very little to none clean parallel corpora for training. Our approach for all translation tasks mainly focused on pre-training NMT models on general datasets and fine-tuning them on domain-specific datasets. Due to the small amount of parallel corpora, we collected and cleaned the OPUS dataset including three IT domain corpora, i.e., GNOME, KDE4, and Ubuntu. We then trained Transformer models on the collected dataset and fine-tuned on corresponding dev set. The BLEU scores greatly improved in comparison with other systems. Our submission ranked 1st in all IT-domain tasks and in one out of eight ALT domain tasks.

Capture Human Disagreement Distributions by Calibrated Networks for Natural Language Inference
Yuxia Wang | Minghan Wang | Yimeng Chen | Shimin Tao | Jiaxin Guo | Chang Su | Min Zhang | Hao Yang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Natural Language Inference (NLI) datasets contain examples with highly ambiguous labels due to its subjectivity. Several recent efforts have been made to acknowledge and embrace the existence of ambiguity, and explore how to capture the human disagreement distribution. In contrast with directly learning from gold ambiguity labels, relying on special resource, we argue that the model has naturally captured the human ambiguity distribution as long as it’s calibrated, i.e. the predictive probability can reflect the true correctness likelihood. Our experiments show that when model is well-calibrated, either by label smoothing or temperature scaling, it can obtain competitive performance as prior work, on both divergence scores between predictive probability and the true human opinion distribution, and the accuracy. This reveals the overhead of collecting gold ambiguity labels can be cut, by broadly solving how to calibrate the NLI network.

Part Represents Whole: Improving the Evaluation of Machine Translation System Using Entropy Enhanced Metrics
Yilun Liu | Shimin Tao | Chang Su | Min Zhang | Yanqing Zhao | Hao Yang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: AACL-IJCNLP 2022

Machine translation (MT) metrics often experience poor correlations with human assessments. In terms of MT system evaluation, most metrics pay equal attentions to every sample in an evaluation set, while in human evaluation, difficult sentences often make candidate systems distinguishable via notable fluctuations in human scores, especially when systems are competitive. We find that samples with high entropy values, which though usually count less than 5%, tend to play a key role in MT evaluation: when the evaluation set is shrunk to only the high-entropy portion, correlations with human assessments are actually improved. Thus, in this paper, we propose a fast and unsupervised approach to enhance MT metrics using entropy, expanding the dimension of evaluation by introducing sentence-level difficulty. A translation hypothesis with a significantly high entropy value is considered difficult and receives a large weight in aggregation of system-level scores. Experimental results on five sub-tracks in the WMT19 Metrics shared tasks show that our proposed method significantly enhanced the performance of commonly-used MT metrics in terms of system-level correlations with human assessments, even outperforming existing SOTA metrics. In particular, all enhanced metrics exhibit overall stability in correlations with human assessments in circumstances where only competitive MT systems are included, while the corresponding vanilla metrics fail to correlate with human assessments.

Modeling Consistency Preference via Lexical Chains for Document-level Neural Machine Translation
Xinglin Lyu | Junhui Li | Shimin Tao | Hao Yang | Ying Qin | Min Zhang
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

In this paper we aim to relieve the issue of lexical translation inconsistency for document-level neural machine translation (NMT) by modeling consistency preference for lexical chains, which consist of repeated words in a source-side document and provide a representation of the lexical consistency structure of the document. Specifically, we first propose lexical-consistency attention to capture consistency context among words in the same lexical chains. Then for each lexical chain we define and learn a consistency-tailored latent variable, which will guide the translation of corresponding sentences to enhance lexical translation consistency. Experimental results on Chinese→English and French→English document-level translation tasks show that our approach not only significantly improves translation performance in BLEU, but also substantially alleviates the problem of the lexical translation inconsistency.

Exploring Robustness of Machine Translation Metrics: A Study of Twenty-Two Automatic Metrics in the WMT22 Metric Task
Xiaoyu Chen | Daimeng Wei | Hengchao Shang | Zongyao Li | Zhanglin Wu | Zhengzhe Yu | Ting Zhu | Mengli Zhu | Ning Xie | Lizhi Lei | Shimin Tao | Hao Yang | Ying Qin
Proceedings of the Seventh Conference on Machine Translation (WMT)

Contextual word embeddings extracted from pre-trained models have become the basis for many downstream NLP tasks, including machine translation automatic evaluations. Metrics that leverage embeddings claim better capture of synonyms and changes in word orders, and thus better correlation with human ratings than surface-form matching metrics (e.g. BLEU). However, few studies have been done to examine robustness of these metrics. This report uses a challenge set to uncover the brittleness of reference-based and reference-free metrics. Our challenge set1 aims at examining metrics’ capability to correlate synonyms in different areas and to discern catastrophic errors at both word- and sentence-levels. The results show that although embedding-based metrics perform relatively well on discerning sentence-level negation/affirmation errors, their performances on relating synonyms are poor. In addition, we find that some metrics are susceptible to text styles so their generalizability compromised.

Partial Could Be Better than Whole. HW-TSC 2022 Submission for the Metrics Shared Task
Yilun Liu | Xiaosong Qiao | Zhanglin Wu | Su Chang | Min Zhang | Yanqing Zhao | Song Peng | Shimin Tao | Hao Yang | Ying Qin | Jiaxin Guo | Minghan Wang | Yinglu Li | Peng Li | Xiaofeng Zhao
Proceedings of the Seventh Conference on Machine Translation (WMT)

In this paper, we present the contribution of HW-TSC to WMT 2022 Metrics Shared Task. We propose one reference-based metric, HWTSC-EE-BERTScore*, and four referencefree metrics including HWTSC-Teacher-Sim, HWTSC-TLM, KG-BERTScore and CROSSQE. Among these metrics, HWTSC-Teacher-Sim and CROSS-QE are supervised, whereas HWTSC-EE-BERTScore*, HWTSC-TLM and KG-BERTScore are unsupervised. We use these metrics in the segment-level and systemlevel tracks. Overall, our systems achieve strong results for all language pairs on previous test sets and a new state-of-the-art in many sys-level case sets.

NJUNLP’s Participation for the WMT2022 Quality Estimation Shared Task
Xiang Geng | Yu Zhang | Shujian Huang | Shimin Tao | Hao Yang | Jiajun Chen
Proceedings of the Seventh Conference on Machine Translation (WMT)

This paper presents submissions of the NJUNLP team in WMT 2022Quality Estimation shared task 1, where the goal is to predict the sentence-level and word-level quality for target machine translations. Our system explores pseudo data and multi-task learning. We propose several novel methods to generate pseudo data for different annotations using the conditional masked language model and the neural machine translation model. The proposed methods control the decoding process to generate more real pseudo translations. We pre-train the XLMR-large model with pseudo data and then fine-tune this model with real data both in the way of multi-task learning. We jointly learn sentence-level scores (with regression and rank tasks) and word-level tags (with a sequence tagging task). Our system obtains competitive results on different language pairs and ranks first place on both sentence- and word-level sub-tasks of the English-German language pair.

CrossQE: HW-TSC 2022 Submission for the Quality Estimation Shared Task
Shimin Tao | Su Chang | Ma Miaomiao | Hao Yang | Xiang Geng | Shujian Huang | Min Zhang | Jiaxin Guo | Minghan Wang | Yinglu Li
Proceedings of the Seventh Conference on Machine Translation (WMT)

Quality estimation (QE) is a crucial method to investigate automatic methods for estimating the quality of machine translation results without reference translations. This paper presents Huawei Translation Services Center’s (HW-TSC’s) work called CrossQE in WMT 2022 QE shared tasks 1 and 2, namely sentence- and word- level quality prediction and explainable QE.CrossQE employes the framework of predictor-estimator for task 1, concretely with a pre-trained cross-lingual XLM-RoBERTa large as predictor and task-specific classifier or regressor as estimator. An extensive set of experimental results show that after adding bottleneck adapter layer, mean teacher loss, masked language modeling task loss and MC dropout methods in CrossQE, the performance has improved to a certain extent. For task 2, CrossQE calculated the cosine similarity between each word feature in the target and each word feature in the source by task 1 sentence-level QE system’s predictor, and used the inverse value of maximum similarity between each word in the target and the source as the word translation error risk value. Moreover, CrossQE has outstanding performance on QE test sets of WMT 2022.

HW-TSC’s Submission for the WMT22 Efficiency Task
Hengchao Shang | Ting Hu | Daimeng Wei | Zongyao Li | Xianzhi Yu | Jianfei Feng | Ting Zhu | Lizhi Lei | Shimin Tao | Hao Yang | Ying Qin | Jinlong Yang | Zhiqiang Rao | Zhengzhe Yu
Proceedings of the Seventh Conference on Machine Translation (WMT)

This paper presents the submission of Huawei Translation Services Center (HW-TSC) to WMT 2022 Efficiency Shared Task. For this year’s task, we still apply sentence-level distillation strategy to train small models with different configurations. Then, we integrate the average attention mechanism into the lightweight RNN model to pursue more efficient decoding. We tried adding a retrain step to our 8-bit and 4-bit models to achieve a balance between model size and quality. We still use Huawei Noah’s Bolt for INT8 inference and 4-bit storage. Coupled with Bolt’s support for batch inference and multi-core parallel computing, we finally submit models with different configurations to the CPU latency and throughput tracks to explore the Pareto frontiers.


Make the Blind Translator See The World: A Novel Transfer Learning Solution for Multimodal Machine Translation
Minghan Wang | Jiaxin Guo | Yimeng Chen | Chang Su | Min Zhang | Shimin Tao | Hao Yang
Proceedings of Machine Translation Summit XVIII: Research Track

Based on large-scale pretrained networks and the liability to be easily overfitting with limited labelled training data of multimodal translation (MMT) is a critical issue in MMT. To this end and we propose a transfer learning solution. Specifically and 1) A vanilla Transformer is pre-trained on massive bilingual text-only corpus to obtain prior knowledge; 2) A multimodal Transformer named VLTransformer is proposed with several components incorporated visual contexts; and 3) The parameters of VLTransformer are initialized with the pre-trained vanilla Transformer and then being fine-tuned on MMT tasks with a newly proposed method named cross-modal masking which forces the model to learn from both modalities. We evaluated on the Multi30k en-de and en-fr dataset and improving up to 8% BLEU score compared with the SOTA performance. The experimental result demonstrates that performing transfer learning with monomodal pre-trained NMT model on multimodal NMT tasks can obtain considerable boosts.

How Length Prediction Influence the Performance of Non-Autoregressive Translation?
Minghan Wang | Guo Jiaxin | Yuxia Wang | Yimeng Chen | Su Chang | Hengchao Shang | Min Zhang | Shimin Tao | Hao Yang
Proceedings of the Fourth BlackboxNLP Workshop on Analyzing and Interpreting Neural Networks for NLP

Length prediction is a special task in a series of NAT models where target length has to be determined before generation. However, the performance of length prediction and its influence on translation quality has seldom been discussed. In this paper, we present comprehensive analyses on length prediction task of NAT, aiming to find the factors that influence performance, as well as how it associates with translation quality. We mainly perform experiments based on Conditional Masked Language Model (CMLM) (Ghazvininejad et al., 2019), a representative NAT model, and evaluate it on two language pairs, En-De and En-Ro. We draw two conclusions: 1) The performance of length prediction is mainly influenced by properties of language pairs such as alignment pattern, word order or intrinsic length ratio, and is also affected by the usage of knowledge distilled data. 2) There is a positive correlation between the performance of the length prediction and the BLEU score.

HW-TSC’s Participation in the WMT 2021 Efficiency Shared Task
Hengchao Shang | Ting Hu | Daimeng Wei | Zongyao Li | Jianfei Feng | ZhengZhe Yu | Jiaxin Guo | Shaojun Li | Lizhi Lei | ShiMin Tao | Hao Yang | Jun Yao | Ying Qin
Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Machine Translation

This paper presents the submission of Huawei Translation Services Center (HW-TSC) to WMT 2021 Efficiency Shared Task. We explore the sentence-level teacher-student distillation technique and train several small-size models that find a balance between efficiency and quality. Our models feature deep encoder, shallow decoder and light-weight RNN with SSRU layer. We use Huawei Noah’s Bolt, an efficient and light-weight library for on-device inference. Leveraging INT8 quantization, self-defined General Matrix Multiplication (GEMM) operator, shortlist, greedy search and caching, we submit four small-size and efficient translation models with high translation quality for the one CPU core latency track.

HW-TSC’s Participation at WMT 2021 Quality Estimation Shared Task
Yimeng Chen | Chang Su | Yingtao Zhang | Yuxia Wang | Xiang Geng | Hao Yang | Shimin Tao | Guo Jiaxin | Wang Minghan | Min Zhang | Yujia Liu | Shujian Huang
Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Machine Translation

This paper presents our work in WMT 2021 Quality Estimation (QE) Shared Task. We participated in all of the three sub-tasks, including Sentence-Level Direct Assessment (DA) task, Word and Sentence-Level Post-editing Effort task and Critical Error Detection task, in all language pairs. Our systems employ the framework of Predictor-Estimator, concretely with a pre-trained XLM-Roberta as Predictor and task-specific classifier or regressor as Estimator. For all tasks, we improve our systems by incorporating post-edit sentence or additional high-quality translation sentence in the way of multitask learning or encoding it with predictors directly. Moreover, in zero-shot setting, our data augmentation strategy based on Monte-Carlo Dropout brings up significant improvement on DA sub-task. Notably, our submissions achieve remarkable results over all tasks.

HI-CMLM: Improve CMLM with Hybrid Decoder Input
Minghan Wang | Guo Jiaxin | Yuxia Wang | Yimeng Chen | Su Chang | Daimeng Wei | Min Zhang | Shimin Tao | Hao Yang
Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Natural Language Generation

Mask-predict CMLM (Ghazvininejad et al.,2019) has achieved stunning performance among non-autoregressive NMT models, but we find that the mechanism of predicting all of the target words only depending on the hidden state of [MASK] is not effective and efficient in initial iterations of refinement, resulting in ungrammatical repetitions and slow convergence. In this work, we mitigate this problem by combining copied source with embeddings of [MASK] in decoder. Notably. it’s not a straightforward copying that is shown to be useless, but a novel heuristic hybrid strategy — fence-mask. Experimental results show that it gains consistent boosts on both WMT14 En<->De and WMT16 En<->Ro corpus by 0.5 BLEU on average, and 1 BLEU for less-informative short sentences. This reveals that incorporating additional information by proper strategies is beneficial to improve CMLM, particularly translation quality of short texts and speeding up early-stage convergence.


HW-TSC’s Participation at WMT 2020 Automatic Post Editing Shared Task
Hao Yang | Minghan Wang | Daimeng Wei | Hengchao Shang | Jiaxin Guo | Zongyao Li | Lizhi Lei | Ying Qin | Shimin Tao | Shiliang Sun | Yimeng Chen
Proceedings of the Fifth Conference on Machine Translation

The paper presents the submission by HW-TSC in the WMT 2020 Automatic Post Editing Shared Task. We participate in the English-German and English-Chinese language pairs. Our system is built based on the Transformer pre-trained on WMT 2019 and WMT 2020 News Translation corpora, and fine-tuned on the APE corpus. Bottleneck Adapter Layers are integrated into the model to prevent over-fitting. We further collect external translations as the augmented MT candidates to improve the performance. The experiment demonstrates that pre-trained NMT models are effective when fine-tuning with the APE corpus of a limited size, and the performance can be further improved with external MT augmentation. Our system achieves competitive results on both directions in the final evaluation.

HW-TSC’s Participation at WMT 2020 Quality Estimation Shared Task
Minghan Wang | Hao Yang | Hengchao Shang | Daimeng Wei | Jiaxin Guo | Lizhi Lei | Ying Qin | Shimin Tao | Shiliang Sun | Yimeng Chen | Liangyou Li
Proceedings of the Fifth Conference on Machine Translation

This paper presents our work in the WMT 2020 Word and Sentence-Level Post-Editing Quality Estimation (QE) Shared Task. Our system follows standard Predictor-Estimator architecture, with a pre-trained Transformer as the Predictor, and specific classifiers and regressors as Estimators. We integrate Bottleneck Adapter Layers in the Predictor to improve the transfer learning efficiency and prevent from over-fitting. At the same time, we jointly train the word- and sentence-level tasks with a unified model with multitask learning. Pseudo-PE assisted QE (PEAQE) is proposed, resulting in significant improvements on the performance. Our submissions achieve competitive result in word/sentence-level sub-tasks for both of En-De/Zh language pairs.