Advanced Quality Measures for Speech Translation

Abstract : The main aim of this thesis is to investigate the automatic quality assessment of spoken language translation (SLT), called Confidence Estimation (CE) for SLT. Due to several factors, SLT output having unsatisfactory quality might cause various issues for the target users. Therefore, it is useful to know how we are confident in the tokens of the hypothesis. Our first contribution of this thesis is a toolkit LIG-WCE which is a customizable, flexible framework and portable platform for Word-level Confidence Estimation (WCE) of SLT.WCE for SLT is a relatively new task defined and formalized as a sequence labelling problem where each word in the SLT hypothesis is tagged as good or bad accordingto a large feature set. We propose several word confidence estimators (WCE) based on our automatic evaluation of transcription (ASR) quality, translation (MT) quality,or both (combined/joint ASR+MT). This research work is possible because we built a specific corpus, which contains 6.7k utterances for which a quintuplet containing: ASRoutput, verbatim transcript, text translation, speech translation and post-edition of the translation is built. The conclusion of our multiple experiments using joint ASR and MT features for WCE is that MT features remain the most influent while ASR features can bring interesting complementary information.As another contribution, we propose two methods to disentangle ASR errors and MT errors, where each word in the SLT hypothesis is tagged as good, asr_error or mt_error.We thus explore the contributions of WCE for SLT in finding out the source of SLT errors.Furthermore, we propose a simple extension of WER metric in order to penalize differently substitution errors according to their context using word embeddings. For instance, the proposed metric should catch near matches (mainly morphological variants) and penalize less this kind of error which has a more limited impact on translation performance. Our experiments show that the correlation of the new proposed metric with SLT performance is better than the one of WER. Oracle experiments are also conducted and show the ability of our metric to find better hypotheses (to be translated) in the ASR N-best. Finally, a preliminary experiment where ASR tuning is based on our new metric shows encouraging results.To conclude, we have proposed several prominent strategies for CE of SLT that could have a positive impact on several applications for SLT. Robust quality estimators for SLT can be used for re-scoring speech translation graphs or for providing feedback to the user in interactive speech translation or computer-assisted speech-to-text scenarios.Keywords: Quality estimation, Word confidence estimation (WCE), Spoken Language Translation (SLT), Joint Features, Feature Selection.
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Ngoc Tien Le. Advanced Quality Measures for Speech Translation. Computation and Language [cs.CL]. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018GREAM002⟩. ⟨tel-01891892⟩

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