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Modelling Annotator Bias with Multi-task Gaussian Processes: An Application to Machine Translation Quality Estimation

Trevor Cohn and Lucia Specia

The 51st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL 2013)
Sofia, Bulgaria, August 4-9, 2013


Annotating linguistic data is often a complex, time consuming and expensive endeavour. Even with strict annotation guidelines, human subjects often deviate in their analyses, each bringing different biases, interpretations of the task and levels of consistency. We present novel techniques for learning from the outputs of multiple annotators while accounting for annotator specific behaviour. These techniques use multi-task Gaussian Processes to learn jointly a series of annotator and metadata specific models, while explicitly representing correlations between models which can be learned directly from data. Our experiments on two machine translation quality estimation datasets show uniform significant accuracy gains from multi-task learning, and consistently outperform strong baselines.

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