Multilingual seq2seq training with similarity loss for cross-lingual document classification

RepL4NLP Workshop at ACL

By: Katherin Yu, Haoran Li, Barlas O─čuz

Abstract

In this paper we continue the line of work where neural machine translation training is used to produce joint cross-lingual fixed-dimensional sentence embeddings. In this framework we introduce a simple method of adding a loss to the learning objective which penalizes distance between representations of bilingually aligned sentences. We evaluate cross-lingual transfer using two approaches, cross-lingual similarity search on an aligned corpus (Europarl) and cross-lingual document classification on a recently published benchmark Reuters corpus, and we find the similarity loss significantly improves performance on both. Our cross-lingual transfer performance is competitive with state-of-the-art, even while there is potential to further improve by investing in a better in-language baseline. Our results are based on a set of 6 European languages.