Predicting Success in Machine Translation

Alexandra Birch, Miles Osborne, Philipp Koehn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

The performance of machine translation systems varies greatly depending on the source and target languages involved. Determining the contribution of different characteristics of language pairs on system performance is key to knowing what aspects of machine translation to improve and which are irrelevant. This paper investigates the effect of different explanatory variables on the performance of a
phrase-based system for 110 European language pairs. We show that three factors are strong predictors of performance in isolation: the amount of reordering, the morphological complexity of the target language and the historical relatedness of the two languages. Together, these factors contribute 75% to the variability of the performance of the system
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2008 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, EMNLP 2008, Proceedings of the Conference, 25-27 October 2008, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, A meeting of SIGDAT, a Special Interest Group of the ACL
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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