We 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 Our experiments confirm existing and mostly unpublished beliefs about the learning capabilities of statistical machine translation systems.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.

Learning to Translate: A Statistical and Computational Analysis

Turchi, Marco;
2012

Abstract

We 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 Our experiments confirm existing and mostly unpublished beliefs about the learning capabilities of statistical machine translation systems.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.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11582/250423
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
social impact