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Discriminative Sample Selection for Statistical Machine Translation ∗

By Sankaranarayanan Ananthakrishnan, Rohit Prasad, David Stallard and Prem Natarajan


Production of parallel training corpora for the development of statistical machine translation (SMT) systems for resource-poor languages usually requires extensive manual effort. Active sample selection aims to reduce the labor, time, and expense incurred in producing such resources, attaining a given performance benchmark with the smallest possible training corpus by choosing informative, nonredundant source sentences from an available candidate pool for manual translation. We present a novel, discriminative sample selection strategy that preferentially selects batches of candidate sentences with constructs that lead to erroneous translations on a held-out development set. The proposed strategy supports a built-in diversity mechanism that reduces redundancy in the selected batches. Simulation experiments on English-to-Pashto and Spanish-to-English translation tasks demonstrate the superiority of the proposed approach to a number of competing techniques, such as random selection, dissimilarity-based selection, as well as a recently proposed semisupervised active learning strategy.

Year: 2011
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