Balancing Quality and Human Involvement: An Effective Approach to Interactive Neural Machine Translation


  • Tianxiang Zhao Penn State University
  • Lemao Liu Tencent AI Lab
  • Guoping Huang Tencent AI Lab
  • Huayang Li Tencent AI Lab
  • Yingling Liu University of Science and Technology of China
  • Liu GuiQuan USTC
  • Shuming Shi Tencent AI Lab



Conventional interactive machine translation typically requires a human translator to validate every generated target word, even though most of them are correct in the advanced neural machine translation (NMT) scenario. Previous studies have exploited confidence approaches to address the intensive human involvement issue, which request human guidance only for a few number of words with low confidences. However, such approaches do not take the history of human involvement into account, and optimize the models only for the translation quality while ignoring the cost of human involvement. In response to these pitfalls, we propose a novel interactive NMT model, which explicitly accounts the history of human involvements and particularly is optimized towards two objectives corresponding to the translation quality and the cost of human involvement, respectively. Specifically, the model jointly predicts a target word and a decision on whether to request human guidance, which is based on both the partial translation and the history of human involvements. Since there is no explicit signals on the decisions of requesting human guidance in the bilingual corpus, we optimize the model with the reinforcement learning technique which enables our model to accurately predict when to request human guidance. Simulated and real experiments show that the proposed model can achieve higher translation quality with similar or less human involvement over the confidence-based baseline.




How to Cite

Zhao, T., Liu, L., Huang, G., Li, H., Liu, Y., GuiQuan, L., & Shi, S. (2020). Balancing Quality and Human Involvement: An Effective Approach to Interactive Neural Machine Translation. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 34(05), 9660-9667.



AAAI Technical Track: Natural Language Processing