Generative Models for Alignment and Data Efficiency in Language

Dustin Tran, Yura Burda, Ilya Sutskever

Feb 15, 2018 (modified: Oct 27, 2017) ICLR 2018 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: We examine how learning from unaligned data can improve both the data efficiency of supervised tasks as well as enable alignments without any supervision. For example, consider unsupervised machine translation: the input is two corpora of English and French, and the task is to translate from one language to the other but without any pairs of English and French sentences. To address this, we develop feature-matching autoencoders (FMAEs). FMAEs ensure that the marginal distribution of feature layers are preserved across forward and inverse mappings between domains. We show that FMAEs achieve state of the art for data efficiency and alignment across three tasks: text decipherment, sentiment transfer, and neural machine translation for English-to-German and English-to-French. Most compellingly, FMAEs achieve state of the art for neural translation with limited supervision, with significant BLEU score differences of up to 5.7 and 6.3 over traditional supervised models. Furthermore, on English-to-German, they outperform last year's best fully supervised models such as ByteNet (Kalchbrenner et al., 2016) while using only half as many supervised examples.
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