Sue’s Top Tips for Building MT Engines

Sue McDermott, KantanMTI’m new to machine translation and one of the things I’ve been doing at KantanMT is learning how to refine training data with a view to building stock engines.

Stock engines are the optional training data provided by KantanMT to improve the performance of your customized MT engine. In this post I’m going to describe the process of building an engine and refining the training data.

The building process on the platform is quite simple. From your dashboard on the website select “My Client Profiles” where you will find two profiles, which have already been set up. A default profile and sample profile; both of which let you run translation jobs straight away.

To create your own customized profile select ‘New’ at the top of the left-most column. This launches the client Profile Wizard.  Enter the name of your new engine; try to make this something meaningful, or use an easily recognizable standard around how you name your profiles. This makes it easier to recognize which profile is which, when you have more than one profile.

When you select ‘next’ you will be asked to specify the source and target languages from drop down menus. The wizard lets you distinguish between different variants of the same language for example Canadian English or US English. Let’s say we’re translating from Canadian English to Canadian French. If you’re not sure which variant you need, have a quick look at the training data, which will give you the language codes.

The next step gives you an option to select a stock engine from a drop down menu. The stock engines are grouped according to their business area or domain.

You will see a summary of your choices, if you’re happy with them select ‘create’. Your new engine will be shown in the list of your client profiles. However, while you have created your engine, you haven’t yet built it.

KantanMT Stock Engine Training data
Stock training data available for social and conversational domains on the KantanMT platform.

 

Building Your Engine

Selecting your profile from the list will make it the current active engine.  By selecting the Training Data tab you can upload any additional training data easily by using the drag and drop function. Then select the ‘Build’ option to begin building your engine.

It’s always a good idea to supply as much useful training data as possible. This ‘educates’ the engine in the way your organization typically translates text.

Once the build job has been submitted, you can monitor its progress in the ‘My Jobs’ page.

When the job is completed the BuildAnalytics™ feature is created. This can be accessed by clicking on the database icon to the left of the profile name. BuildAnalytics will give you feedback on the strength of your engine using industry standard scores, as well as details about your engines word count. The tabs across the page will give you access to more detail.

The summary tab lets you to see the average BLEU, F-Measure and TER scores for the engine, and the pie charts show you a summary of the percentage scores for all segments. For more detail select the respective tabs and use the data to investigate individual segments.

KantanMT BuildAnalytics Feature
KantanBuildAnalytics provides a granular analyis of your MT engine.

 

A Rejects Report is created for every file of Training Data uploaded. You can use this to determine why some of your data is not being used, and improve the uptake rate of your data.

Gap analysis gives you an effective way to improve your engine with relevant glossary or noise lists, which you can upload to future engine builds. By adding these terminology files in either TBX (Terminology Interchange) or XLSX (Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet) formats you will quickly improve the engines performance.

The Timeline tag shows you the evolution of your engine over its lifetime. This feature lets you compare the statistics with previous builds, and track all the data you have uploaded. On a couple of occasions, I used the archive feature to revert back to a previous build, when the engine building process was not going according to plan.

KantanMT Timeline
KantanMT Timeline lets you view your entire engine’s build history.

 

Improving Your Engine

A great way to improve your engines performance is to analyze the rejects report for the files with a higher rejection rate.  Once you understand the reasons segments are rejected you can begin to address them.  For example, an error 104 is caused by a difference in place holder counts. This can be something as simple as the source language using the % sign where the target language uses the word ‘percent’. In this case a preprocessor rule can be created to fix the problem.

KantanMT Rejects Report Error 104
A detailed rejects report shows you the errors in your MT engine.

A PEX rule editor is accessed from the KantanMT drop down menu. This lets you try out your preprocessor rules, and see the effect that they have in the data. I would suggest directly copying and pasting from the rejects report to the test area and applying your PEX rule to ensure you’re precisely targeting the data concerned. You can get instant feedback using this tool.

Once you’re happy with the way the rules work on the rejected data it’s useful to analyze the rest of the data to see what effect the rules will have.  You want to avoid a situation where using a rule resolves 10 rejects, but creates 20 more. Once the rules are refined copy them to the appropriate files (source.ppx, target.ppx) and upload with the training data. Remember that the rules will run against the content in the order they are specified.

When you rebuild the engine they will be incorporated, and hopefully improve the scores.

Sue’s 3 Tips for Successfully Building MT Engines

  1. Name your profiles clearly – When you are using a number of profiles simultaneously knowing what each one is (Language pair/domain) will make it much easier as you progress through the building process.
  2. Take advantage of BuildAnalytics – Use the insights and Gap analysis features to give you tips on improving your engine. Listening to these tips can really help speed up the engine refinement process.
  3. The PEX Rule Editor is your friend – Don’t be afraid to try out creating and using new PEX rules, if things go south you can always go back to previous versions of your engine.

My internship at KantanMT.com really opened my eyes to the world of language services and machine translation. Before joining the team I knew nothing about MT or the mechanics behind building engines. This was a great experience, and being part of such a smoothly run development team was an added bonus that I will take with me when I return ITB to finish my course.

About Sue McDermott

Sue is currently studying for a Diploma in Computer Science from ITB (Institute of Technology Blanchardstown). Sue joined KantanMT.com on a three month internship. She has a degree in English Literature and a background in business systems, and is also a full-time mum for the last 17 years.

Email: info@kantanmt.com, if you have any questions or want more information on the KantanMT platform.

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