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BilBOWA: Fast Bilingual Distributed Representations without Word Alignments

Stephan Gouws
Yoshua Bengio
Proceedings of the 32nd International Conference on Machine Learning (2015)


We introduce BilBOWA (Bilingual Bag-ofWords without Alignments), a simple and computationally-efficient model for learning bilingual distributed representations of words which can scale to large monolingual datasets and does not require word-aligned parallel training data. Instead it trains directly on monolingual data and extracts a bilingual signal from a smaller set of raw-text sentence-aligned data. This is achieved using a novel sampled bag-of-words cross-lingual objective, which is used to regularize two noise-contrastive language models for efficient cross-lingual feature learning. We show that bilingual embeddings learned using the proposed model outperform state-of-the-art methods on a cross-lingual document classification task as well as a lexical translation task on WMT11 data.