Learning to translate : a statistical and computational analysis

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1155/2012/484580
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Journal titleAdvances in Artificial Intelligence
Article number484580
Pages115; # of pages: 15
AbstractWe present an extensive experimental study of Phrase-based Statistical Machine Translation, from the point of view of its learning capabilities. Very accurate Learning Curves are obtained, using high-performance computing, and extrapolations of the projected performance of the system under different conditions are provided. Our experiments confirm existing and mostly unpublished beliefs about the learning capabilities of statistical machine translation systems. We also provide insight into the way statistical machine translation learns from data, including the respective influence of translation and language models, the impact of phrase length on performance, and various unlearning and perturbation analyses. Our results support and illustrate the fact that performance improves by a constant amount for each doubling of the data, across different language pairs, and different systems. This fundamental limitation seems to be a direct consequence of Zipf law governing textual data. Although the rate of improvement may depend on both the data and the estimation method, it is unlikely that the general shape of the learning curve will change without major changes in the modeling and inference phases. Possible research directions that address this issue include the integration of linguistic rules or the development of active learning procedures.
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AffiliationNRC Institute for Information Technology; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21268092
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Record identifierfb92f18a-a6da-4cae-b18d-a8e9e3f25dda
Record created2013-04-09
Record modified2016-05-09
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