Lei Zhou


Cross-Modal Similarity-Based Curriculum Learning for Image Captioning
Hongkuan Zhang | Saku Sugawara | Akiko Aizawa | Lei Zhou | Ryohei Sasano | Koichi Takeda
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Image captioning models require the high-level generalization ability to describe the contents of various images in words. Most existing approaches treat the image–caption pairs equally in their training without considering the differences in their learning difficulties. Several image captioning approaches introduce curriculum learning methods that present training data with increasing levels of difficulty. However, their difficulty measurements are either based on domain-specific features or prior model training. In this paper, we propose a simple yet efficient difficulty measurement for image captioning using cross-modal similarity calculated by a pretrained vision–language model. Experiments on the COCO and Flickr30k datasets show that our proposed approach achieves superior performance and competitive convergence speed to baselines without requiring heuristics or incurring additional training costs. Moreover, the higher model performance on difficult examples and unseen data also demonstrates the generalization ability.


Self-Guided Curriculum Learning for Neural Machine Translation
Lei Zhou | Liang Ding | Kevin Duh | Shinji Watanabe | Ryohei Sasano | Koichi Takeda
Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2021)

In supervised learning, a well-trained model should be able to recover ground truth accurately, i.e. the predicted labels are expected to resemble the ground truth labels as much as possible. Inspired by this, we formulate a difficulty criterion based on the recovery degrees of training examples. Motivated by the intuition that after skimming through the training corpus, the neural machine translation (NMT) model “knows” how to schedule a suitable curriculum according to learning difficulty, we propose a self-guided curriculum learning strategy that encourages the NMT model to learn from easy to hard on the basis of recovery degrees. Specifically, we adopt sentence-level BLEU score as the proxy of recovery degree. Experimental results on translation benchmarks including WMT14 English-German and WMT17 Chinese-English demonstrate that our proposed method considerably improves the recovery degree, thus consistently improving the translation performance.


Zero-Shot Translation Quality Estimation with Explicit Cross-Lingual Patterns
Lei Zhou | Liang Ding | Koichi Takeda
Proceedings of the Fifth Conference on Machine Translation

This paper describes our submission of the WMT 2020 Shared Task on Sentence Level Direct Assessment, Quality Estimation (QE). In this study, we empirically reveal the mismatching issue when directly adopting BERTScore (Zhang et al., 2020) to QE. Specifically, there exist lots of mismatching errors between source sentence and translated candidate sentence with token pairwise similarity. In response to this issue, we propose to expose explicit cross lingual patterns, e.g. word alignments and generation score, to our proposed zero-shot models. Experiments show that our proposed QE model with explicit cross-lingual patterns could alleviate the mismatching issue, thereby improving the performance. Encouragingly, our zero-shot QE method could achieve comparable performance with supervised QE method, and even outperforms the supervised counterpart on 2 out of 6 directions. We expect our work could shed light on the zero-shot QE model improvement.