Abstract: We introduce FDA5 for efficient parameterization, optimization, and implementation of feature decay algorithms (FDA), a class of instance selection algorithms that use feature decay. FDA increase the diversity of the selected training set by devaluing features (i.e. n-grams) that have already been included. FDA5 decides which instances to select based on three functions used for initializing and decaying feature values and scaling sentence scores controlled with 5 parameters. We present optimization techniques that allow FDA5 to adapt these functions to in-domain and out-of-domain translation tasks for different language pairs. In a transductive learning setting, selection of training instances relevant to the test set can improve the final translation quality. In machine translation experiments performed on the 2 million sentence English-German section of the Europarl corpus, we show that a subset of the training set selected by FDA5 can gain up to 3.22 BLEU points compared to a randomly selected subset of the same size, can gain up to 0.41 BLEU points compared to using all of the available training data using only 15% of it, and can reach within 0.5 BLEU points to the full training set result by using only 2.7% of the full training data. FDA5 peaks at around 8M words or 15% of the full training set. In an active learning setting, FDA5 minimizes the human effort by identifying the most informative sentences for translation and FDA gains up to 0.45 BLEU points using 3/5 of the available training data compared to using all of it and 1.12 BLEU points compared to random training set. In translation tasks involving English and Turkish, a morphologically rich language, FDA5 can gain up to 11.52 BLEU points compared to a randomly selected subset of the same size, can achieve the same BLEU score using as little as 4% of the data compared to random instance selection, and can exceed the full dataset result by 0.78 BLEU points. FDA5 is able to reduce the time to build a statistical machine translation system to about half with 1M words using only 3% of the space for the phrase table and 8% of the overall space when compared with a baseline system using all of the training data available yet still obtain only 0.58 BLEU points difference with the baseline system in out-of-domain translation.
January 21, 2015
Ergun Biçici and Deniz Yuret. 2015. Optimizing Instance Selection for Statistical Machine Translation with Feature Decay Algorithms. IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing, vol 23, no 2, pp 339--350, February. IEEE. (URL, PDF, code)