Machine Translation

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 187–207

Bilingual LSA-based adaptation for statistical machine translation


DOI: 10.1007/s10590-008-9045-2

Cite this article as:
Tam, YC., Lane, I. & Schultz, T. Machine Translation (2007) 21: 187. doi:10.1007/s10590-008-9045-2


We propose a novel approach to cross-lingual language model and translation lexicon adaptation for statistical machine translation (SMT) based on bilingual latent semantic analysis. Bilingual LSA enables latent topic distributions to be efficiently transferred across languages by enforcing a one-to-one topic correspondence during training. Using the proposed bilingual LSA framework, model adaptation can be performed by, first, inferring the topic posterior distribution of the source text and then applying the inferred distribution to an n-gram language model of the target language and translation lexicon via marginal adaptation. The background phrase table is enhanced with the additional phrase scores computed using the adapted translation lexicon. The proposed framework also features rapid bootstrapping of LSA models for new languages based on a source LSA model of another language. Our approach is evaluated on the Chinese–English MT06 test set using the medium-scale SMT system and the GALE SMT system measured in BLEU and NIST scores. Improvement in both scores is observed on both systems when the adapted language model and the adapted translation lexicon are applied individually. When the adapted language model and the adapted translation lexicon are applied simultaneously, the gain is additive. At the 95% confidence interval of the unadapted baseline system, the gain in both scores is statistically significant using the medium-scale SMT system, while the gain in the NIST score is statistically significant using the GALE SMT system.


Bilingual latent semantic analysis Latent Dirichlet-tree allocation Cross-lingual language model adaptation Lexicon adaptation Topic distribution transfer Statistical machine translation 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Carnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA

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