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Title: Human feedback in Statistical Machine Translation
Author: Logacheva, Varvara
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 037X
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2017
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The thesis addresses the challenge of improving Statistical Machine Translation (SMT) systems via feedback given by humans on translation quality. The amount of human feedback available to systems is inherently low due to cost and time limitations. One of our goals is to simulate such information by automatically generating pseudo-human feedback. This is performed using Quality Estimation (QE) models. QE is a technique for predicting the quality of automatic translations without comparing them to oracle (human) translations, traditionally at the sentence or word levels. QE models are trained on a small collection of automatic translations manually labelled for quality, and then can predict the quality of any number of unseen translations. We propose a number of improvements for QE models in order to increase the reliability of pseudo-human feedback. These include strategies to artificially generate instances for settings where QE training data is scarce. We also introduce a new level of granularity for QE: the level of phrases. This level aims to improve the quality of QE predictions by better modelling inter-dependencies among errors at word level, and in ways that are tailored to phrase-based SMT, where the basic unit of translation is a phrase. This can thus facilitate work on incorporating human feedback during the translation process. Finally, we introduce approaches to incorporate pseudo-human feedback in the form of QE predictions in SMT systems. More specifically, we use quality predictions to select the best translation from a number of alternative suggestions produced by SMT systems, and integrate QE predictions into an SMT system decoder in order to guide the translation generation process.
Supervisor: Specia, Lucia Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available