Jean-Baptiste Alayrac


Machine Translation Decoding beyond Beam Search
Rémi Leblond | Jean-Baptiste Alayrac | Laurent Sifre | Miruna Pislar | Lespiau Jean-Baptiste | Ioannis Antonoglou | Karen Simonyan | Oriol Vinyals
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Beam search is the go-to method for decoding auto-regressive machine translation models. While it yields consistent improvements in terms of BLEU, it is only concerned with finding outputs with high model likelihood, and is thus agnostic to whatever end metric or score practitioners care about. Our aim is to establish whether beam search can be replaced by a more powerful metric-driven search technique. To this end, we explore numerous decoding algorithms, including some which rely on a value function parameterised by a neural network, and report results on a variety of metrics. Notably, we introduce a Monte-Carlo Tree Search (MCTS) based method and showcase its competitiveness. We provide a blueprint for how to use MCTS fruitfully in language applications, which opens promising future directions. We find that which algorithm is best heavily depends on the characteristics of the goal metric; we believe that our extensive experiments and analysis will inform further research in this area.

Decoupling the Role of Data, Attention, and Losses in Multimodal Transformers
Lisa Anne Hendricks | John Mellor | Rosalia Schneider | Jean-Baptiste Alayrac | Aida Nematzadeh
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 9

Abstract Recently, multimodal transformer models have gained popularity because their performance on downstream tasks suggests they learn rich visual-linguistic representations. Focusing on zero-shot image retrieval tasks, we study three important factors that can impact the quality of learned representations: pretraining data, the attention mechanism, and loss functions. By pretraining models on six datasets, we observe that dataset noise and language similarity to our downstream task are important indicators of model performance. Through architectural analysis, we learn that models with a multimodal attention mechanism can outperform deeper models with modality-specific attention mechanisms. Finally, we show that successful contrastive losses used in the self-supervised learning literature do not yield similar performance gains when used in multimodal transformers.


Learning to Segment Actions from Observation and Narration
Daniel Fried | Jean-Baptiste Alayrac | Phil Blunsom | Chris Dyer | Stephen Clark | Aida Nematzadeh
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

We apply a generative segmental model of task structure, guided by narration, to action segmentation in video. We focus on unsupervised and weakly-supervised settings where no action labels are known during training. Despite its simplicity, our model performs competitively with previous work on a dataset of naturalistic instructional videos. Our model allows us to vary the sources of supervision used in training, and we find that both task structure and narrative language provide large benefits in segmentation quality.