Felix Schneider


Machine Translation from Standard German to Alemannic Dialects
Louisa Lambrecht | Felix Schneider | Alexander Waibel
Proceedings of the 1st Annual Meeting of the ELRA/ISCA Special Interest Group on Under-Resourced Languages

Machine translation has been researched using deep neural networks in recent years. These networks require lots of data to learn abstract representations of the input stored in continuous vectors. Dialect translation has become more important since the advent of social media. In particular, when dialect speakers and standard language speakers no longer understand each other, machine translation is of rising concern. Usually, dialect translation is a typical low-resourced language setting facing data scarcity problems. Additionally, spelling inconsistencies due to varying pronunciations and the lack of spelling rules complicate translation. This paper presents the best-performing approaches to handle these problems for Alemannic dialects. The results show that back-translation and conditioning on dialectal manifestations achieve the most remarkable enhancement over the baseline. Using back-translation, a significant gain of +4.5 over the strong transformer baseline of 37.3 BLEU points is accomplished. Differentiating between several Alemannic dialects instead of treating Alemannic as one dialect leads to substantial improvements: Multi-dialectal translation surpasses the baseline on the dialectal test sets. However, training individual models outperforms the multi-dialectal approach. There, improvements range from 7.5 to 10.6 BLEU points over the baseline depending on the dialect.

Metaphor Detection for Low Resource Languages: From Zero-Shot to Few-Shot Learning in Middle High German
Felix Schneider | Sven Sickert | Phillip Brandes | Sophie Marshall | Joachim Denzler
Proceedings of the 18th Workshop on Multiword Expressions @LREC2022

In this work, we present a novel unsupervised method for adjective-noun metaphor detection on low resource languages. We propose two new approaches: First, a way of artificially generating metaphor training examples and second, a novel way to find metaphors relying only on word embeddings. The latter enables application for low resource languages. Our method is based on a transformation of word embedding vectors into another vector space, in which the distance between the adjective word vector and the noun word vector represents the metaphoricity of the word pair. We train this method in a zero-shot pseudo-supervised manner by generating artificial metaphor examples and show that our approach can be used to generate a metaphor dataset with low annotation cost. It can then be used to finetune the system in a few-shot manner. In our experiments we show the capabilities of the method in its unsupervised and in its supervised version. Additionally, we test it against a comparable unsupervised baseline method and a supervised variation of it.


KIT’s IWSLT 2021 Offline Speech Translation System
Tuan Nam Nguyen | Thai Son Nguyen | Christian Huber | Ngoc-Quan Pham | Thanh-Le Ha | Felix Schneider | Sebastian Stüker
Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2021)

This paper describes KIT’submission to the IWSLT 2021 Offline Speech Translation Task. We describe a system in both cascaded condition and end-to-end condition. In the cascaded condition, we investigated different end-to-end architectures for the speech recognition module. For the text segmentation module, we trained a small transformer-based model on high-quality monolingual data. For the translation module, our last year’s neural machine translation model was reused. In the end-to-end condition, we improved our Speech Relative Transformer architecture to reach or even surpass the result of the cascade system.

Operating a Complex SLT System with Speakers and Human Interpreters
Ondřej Bojar | Vojtěch Srdečný | Rishu Kumar | Otakar Smrž | Felix Schneider | Barry Haddow | Phil Williams | Chiara Canton
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Automatic Spoken Language Translation in Real-World Settings (ASLTRW)

We describe our experience with providing automatic simultaneous spoken language translation for an event with human interpreters. We provide a detailed overview of the systems we use, focusing on their interconnection and the issues it brings. We present our tools to monitor the pipeline and a web application to present the results of our SLT pipeline to the end users. Finally, we discuss various challenges we encountered, their possible solutions and we suggest improvements for future deployments.

ELITR Multilingual Live Subtitling: Demo and Strategy
Ondřej Bojar | Dominik Macháček | Sangeet Sagar | Otakar Smrž | Jonáš Kratochvíl | Peter Polák | Ebrahim Ansari | Mohammad Mahmoudi | Rishu Kumar | Dario Franceschini | Chiara Canton | Ivan Simonini | Thai-Son Nguyen | Felix Schneider | Sebastian Stüker | Alex Waibel | Barry Haddow | Rico Sennrich | Philip Williams
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations

This paper presents an automatic speech translation system aimed at live subtitling of conference presentations. We describe the overall architecture and key processing components. More importantly, we explain our strategy for building a complex system for end-users from numerous individual components, each of which has been tested only in laboratory conditions. The system is a working prototype that is routinely tested in recognizing English, Czech, and German speech and presenting it translated simultaneously into 42 target languages.

Data-Driven Detection of General Chiasmi Using Lexical and Semantic Features
Felix Schneider | Björn Barz | Phillip Brandes | Sophie Marshall | Joachim Denzler
Proceedings of the 5th Joint SIGHUM Workshop on Computational Linguistics for Cultural Heritage, Social Sciences, Humanities and Literature

Automatic detection of stylistic devices is an important tool for literary studies, e.g., for stylometric analysis or argument mining. A particularly striking device is the rhetorical figure called chiasmus, which involves the inversion of semantically or syntactically related words. Existing works focus on a special case of chiasmi that involve identical words in an A B B A pattern, so-called antimetaboles. In contrast, we propose an approach targeting the more general and challenging case A B B’ A’, where the words A, A’ and B, B’ constituting the chiasmus do not need to be identical but just related in meaning. To this end, we generalize the established candidate phrase mining strategy from antimetaboles to general chiasmi and propose novel features based on word embeddings and lemmata for capturing both semantic and syntactic information. These features serve as input for a logistic regression classifier, which learns to distinguish between rhetorical chiasmi and coincidental chiastic word orders without special meaning. We evaluate our approach on two datasets consisting of classical German dramas, four texts with annotated chiasmi and 500 unannotated texts. Compared to previous methods for chiasmus detection, our novel features improve the average precision from 17% to 28% and the precision among the top 100 results from 13% to 35%.


KIT’s IWSLT 2020 SLT Translation System
Ngoc-Quan Pham | Felix Schneider | Tuan-Nam Nguyen | Thanh-Le Ha | Thai Son Nguyen | Maximilian Awiszus | Sebastian Stüker | Alexander Waibel
Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation

This paper describes KIT’s submissions to the IWSLT2020 Speech Translation evaluation campaign. We first participate in the simultaneous translation task, in which our simultaneous models are Transformer based and can be efficiently trained to obtain low latency with minimized compromise in quality. On the offline speech translation task, we applied our new Speech Transformer architecture to end-to-end speech translation. The obtained model can provide translation quality which is competitive to a complicated cascade. The latter still has the upper hand, thanks to the ability to transparently access to the transcription, and resegment the inputs to avoid fragmentation.

ELITR Non-Native Speech Translation at IWSLT 2020
Dominik Macháček | Jonáš Kratochvíl | Sangeet Sagar | Matúš Žilinec | Ondřej Bojar | Thai-Son Nguyen | Felix Schneider | Philip Williams | Yuekun Yao
Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation

This paper is an ELITR system submission for the non-native speech translation task at IWSLT 2020. We describe systems for offline ASR, real-time ASR, and our cascaded approach to offline SLT and real-time SLT. We select our primary candidates from a pool of pre-existing systems, develop a new end-to-end general ASR system, and a hybrid ASR trained on non-native speech. The provided small validation set prevents us from carrying out a complex validation, but we submit all the unselected candidates for contrastive evaluation on the test set.

Towards Stream Translation: Adaptive Computation Time for Simultaneous Machine Translation
Felix Schneider | Alexander Waibel
Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation

Simultaneous machine translation systems rely on a policy to schedule read and write operations in order to begin translating a source sentence before it is complete. In this paper, we demonstrate the use of Adaptive Computation Time (ACT) as an adaptive, learned policy for simultaneous machine translation using the transformer model and as a more numerically stable alternative to Monotonic Infinite Lookback Attention (MILk). We achieve state-of-the-art results in terms of latency-quality tradeoffs. We also propose a method to use our model on unsegmented input, i.e. without sentence boundaries, simulating the condition of translating output from automatic speech recognition. We present first benchmark results on this task.

Removing European Language Barriers with Innovative Machine Translation Technology
Dario Franceschini | Chiara Canton | Ivan Simonini | Armin Schweinfurth | Adelheid Glott | Sebastian Stüker | Thai-Son Nguyen | Felix Schneider | Thanh-Le Ha | Alex Waibel | Barry Haddow | Philip Williams | Rico Sennrich | Ondřej Bojar | Sangeet Sagar | Dominik Macháček | Otakar Smrž
Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Language Technology Platforms

This paper presents our progress towards deploying a versatile communication platform in the task of highly multilingual live speech translation for conferences and remote meetings live subtitling. The platform has been designed with a focus on very low latency and high flexibility while allowing research prototypes of speech and text processing tools to be easily connected, regardless of where they physically run. We outline our architecture solution and also briefly compare it with the ELG platform. Technical details are provided on the most important components and we summarize the test deployment events we ran so far.

ELITR: European Live Translator
Ondřej Bojar | Dominik Macháček | Sangeet Sagar | Otakar Smrž | Jonáš Kratochvíl | Ebrahim Ansari | Dario Franceschini | Chiara Canton | Ivan Simonini | Thai-Son Nguyen | Felix Schneider | Sebastian Stücker | Alex Waibel | Barry Haddow | Rico Sennrich | Philip Williams
Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Conference of the European Association for Machine Translation

ELITR (European Live Translator) project aims to create a speech translation system for simultaneous subtitling of conferences and online meetings targetting up to 43 languages. The technology is tested by the Supreme Audit Office of the Czech Republic and by alfaview®, a German online conferencing system. Other project goals are to advance document-level and multilingual machine translation, automatic speech recognition, and automatic minuting.


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The IWSLT 2019 KIT Speech Translation System
Ngoc-Quan Pham | Thai-Son Nguyen | Thanh-Le Ha | Juan Hussain | Felix Schneider | Jan Niehues | Sebastian Stüker | Alexander Waibel
Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation

This paper describes KIT’s submission to the IWSLT 2019 Speech Translation task on two sub-tasks corresponding to two different datasets. We investigate different end-to-end architectures for the speech recognition module, including our new transformer-based architectures. Overall, our modules in the pipe-line are based on the transformer architecture which has recently achieved great results in various fields. In our systems, using transformer is also advantageous compared to traditional hybrid systems in term of simplicity while still having competent results.

KIT’s Submission to the IWSLT 2019 Shared Task on Text Translation
Felix Schneider | Alex Waibel
Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation

In this paper, we describe KIT’s submission for the IWSLT 2019 shared task on text translation. Our system is based on the transformer model [1] using our in-house implementation. We augment the available training data using back-translation and employ fine-tuning for the final model. For our best results, we used a 12-layer transformer-big config- uration, achieving state-of-the-art results on the WMT2018 test set. We also experiment with student-teacher models to improve performance of smaller models.