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Scalable Decipherment for Machine Translation via Hash Sampling

Sujith Ravi

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


In this paper, we propose a new Bayesian inference method to train statistical machine translation systems using only non-parallel corpora. Following a probabilistic {\it decipherment} approach, we first introduce a new framework for decipherment training that is flexible enough to incorporate any number/type of features (besides simple bag-of-words) as side-information used for estimating translation models. In order to perform fast, efficient Bayesian inference in this framework, we then derive a {\it hash sampling} strategy that is inspired by the work of Ahmed et al. (2012). The new translation hash sampler enables us to scale elegantly to complex models (for the first time) and large vocabulary/corpora sizes. We show empirical results on the OPUS data---our method yields the best BLEU scores compared to existing approaches, while achieving significant computational speedups (several orders faster). We also report for the first time---BLEU score results for a large-scale MT task using only non-parallel data (EMEA corpus).

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