Keywords: Simultaneous machine translation, Machine translation, Natural language processing, Transformer
Abstract: Simultaneous machine translation (SiMT) outputs the target sequence while receiving the source sequence, and hence learning when to start translating each target token is the core challenge for SiMT task. However, it is non-trivial to learn the optimal moment among many possible moments of starting translating, as the moments of starting translating always hide inside the model and can only be supervised with the observed target sequence. In this paper, we propose a Hidden Markov Transformer (HMT), which treats the moments of starting translating as hidden events and the target sequence as the corresponding observed events, thereby organizing them as a hidden Markov model. HMT explicitly models multiple moments of starting translating as the candidate hidden events, and then selects one to generate the target token. During training, by maximizing the marginal likelihood of the target sequence over multiple moments of starting translating, HMT learns to start translating at the moments that target tokens can be generated more accurately. Experiments on multiple SiMT benchmarks show that HMT outperforms strong baselines and achieves state-of-the-art performance.
Anonymous Url: I certify that there is no URL (e.g., github page) that could be used to find authors’ identity.
No Acknowledgement Section: I certify that there is no acknowledgement section in this submission for double blind review.
Code Of Ethics: I acknowledge that I and all co-authors of this work have read and commit to adhering to the ICLR Code of Ethics
Submission Guidelines: Yes
Please Choose The Closest Area That Your Submission Falls Into: Applications (eg, speech processing, computer vision, NLP)
Community Implementations: [![CatalyzeX](/images/catalyzex_icon.svg) 4 code implementations](https://www.catalyzex.com/paper/arxiv:2303.00257/code)