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03:07 pm, 22 Aug 05

NIST results

NIST 2005 Machine Translation Evaluation Official Results. As I mentioned before, Franz & co. (congrats again, hawk!) totally rocked it.

But it's worth noting that (at least according to Franz's papers from before Google; I don't know much about what they're actually doing here) part of his approach is use the BLEU score as the objective function in their learning. This does make sense: the BLEU score was designed to correlate with human translation quality and so it's a reasonable function to optimize. And the sentences they were given to translate must have been entirely separate from all available training data. But still, it feels a little weird to me that you'd optimize on the metric used to judge; it means you can make "simple" translation mistakes (at least to a human observer) but still get a good score as long as the scoring function doesn't account for those sort of mistakes.