Interactive and Adaptive Neural Machine Translation

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Johns Hopkins University
In this dissertation, we examine applications of neural machine translation to computer aided translation, with the goal of building tools for human translators. We present a neural approach to interactive translation prediction (a form of "auto-complete" for human translators) and demonstrate its effectiveness through both simulation studies, where it outperforms a phrase-based statistical machine translation approach, and a user study. We find that about half of the translators in the study are faster using neural interactive translation prediction than they are when post-editing output of the same underlying machine translation system, and most translators express positive reactions to the tool. We perform an analysis of some challenges that neural machine translation systems face, particularly with respect to novel words and consistency. We experiment with methods of improving translation quality at a fine-grained level to address those challenges. Finally, we bring these two areas -- interactive and adaptive neural machine translation -- together in a simulation that shows that their combination has a positive impact on novel word translation and other metrics.
machine translation, computer aided translation