# Review — Seq2Seq: Sequence to Sequence Learning with Neural Networks

## Using LSTM for Encoder and Decoder for Machine Translation

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In this story, **Sequence to Sequence Learning with Neural Networks, by Google**, is reviewed. In this paper:

**A multilayered Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM)**to**map the input sequence to a vector of a fixed dimensionality**, and then**another deep LSTM to decode the target sequence from the vector.**- This general end-to-end approach to sequence learning, improves the statistical machine translation (SMT) e.g.:
**English to French translation task**.

This is a paper in **2014 NeurIPS **with over **16000 citations**. (Sik-Ho Tsang @ Medium) Though many people have already known this paper, this is my first Medium story about NLP.

# Outline

**The Use of LSTM****Sequence to Sequence (Seq2Seq) Model****Experimental Results**

**1. The Use of LSTM**

- (It is assumed that there should be some basic knowledge of RNN and LSTM just like the convolutional layer before reading this paper.)
- (Please feel free to read RNN and LSTM from https://marssu.coderbridge.io/2020/11/21/sequence-to-sequence-model/

- The Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) is a natural generalization of feedforward neural networks to sequences.
**Given a sequence of inputs (**, a standard RNN*x*1, ...,*xT*)**computes a sequence of outputs (***y*1, …,*yT*) by iterating the following equation:

- However, it is
**difficult to train the RNNs**due to the resulting long term dependencies.**Gradient vanishing problem occurs in vanilla RNN when the sentence is too long.**

LSTM is used to tackle the gradient vanishing problem.

# 2. **Sequence to Sequence (Seq2Seq) Model**

## 2.1. Framework

- A straightforward application of the
**Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM)**architecture can solve general sequence to sequence problems. - The idea is to use
**one LSTM**to**read the input sequence**,**one timestep at a time**, to obtain**large fixed-dimensional vector representation**; - and then to use
**another LSTM**to**extract the output sequence from that vector**. The second LSTM is**essentially a recurrent neural network language model**except that it is**conditioned on the input sequence**. - Thus, the goal of the LSTM is to
**estimate the conditional probability p(**.*y*1, ...,*yT*′ |*x*1, ...,*xT*)

The LSTM computes this conditional probability by first obtaining the fixed-dimensional representation

vof the input sequence (x1, …,xT) given by the last hidden state of the LSTM, and then computing the probability ofy1, …,yT′ with a standard LSTM-LM (Language Model) formulation whose initial hidden state is set to the representationvofx1, …,xT:

In addition,

the LSTM reads the input sentence in reverse, because doing sointroduces many short term dependenciesin the data that make the optimization problem much easier.

## 2.2. Training

- The core of the experiments involved training a large deep LSTM on many sentence pairs.
**Seq2Seq is trained by maximizing the log probability of a correct translation**, so the training objective is:*T*given the source sentence*S*

- where
is the*S***training set**. **Deep LSTMs with 4 layers**are trained, with**1000 cells at each layer**and**1000 dimensional word embeddings**, with**an input vocabulary of 160,000**and**an output vocabulary of 80,000**.- It is found that
**deep LSTMs to significantly outperform shallow LSTMs**, where each additional layer reduced perplexity by nearly 10%, possibly due to their much larger hidden state. - A naive
**softmax**is used over**80,000 words**at each**output**. - The resulting LSTM has
**380M parameters of which****64M**are pure**recurrent connections**(32M for the “encoder” LSTM and 32M for the “decoder” LSTM). - Batches of 128 sequences are used.
- A hard constraint is applied on the norm of the gradient [10, 25] to prevent from gradient explosion.

## 2.3. Testing

- Once training is complete,
**translations are produced by finding the most likely translation**according to the LSTM:

- The most likely translation is searched using a simple left-to-right beam search decoder which
**maintains a small number**.*B*of partial hypotheses - At each timestep we extend each partial hypothesis in the beam with every possible word in the vocabulary. This greatly increases the number of the hypotheses so all are discarded but
**only the***B*most likely hypotheses are remained according to the model’s log probability. - As soon as the
**“<EOS>” symbol is appended**to a hypothesis, it is removed from the beam and is**added to the set of complete hypotheses**. - Interestingly,
**Seq2Seq performs well even with a beam size of 1, and a beam of size 2**provides most of the benefits of beam.

**3. Experimental Results**

## 3.1. WMT’14 English to French test set (ntst14)

- (For more details about
**BLEU**: Please feel free to watch:**C5W3L06 Bleu Score (Optional)**) - The best results are obtained with an ensemble of LSTMs that differ in their random initializations and in the random order of minibatches.

It is the

first timethata pure neural translation system outperforms a phrase-based SMT baseline on a large MT task by a sizeable margin, despite its inability to handle out-of-vocabulary words.

- The LSTM is within 0.5 BLEU points of the previous state of the art by rescoring the 1000-best list of the baseline system.

## 3.2. Long Sentences

**Left**: There is no degradation on sentences with less than 35 words, there is only a minor degradation on the longest sentences.**Right**: Better BLEU for rarely appeared words.

- The reader can verify that the translations are sensible using Google translate.

## 3.3. Model Analysis

- The above figure clearly shows that the representations are sensitive to the order of words, while being
**fairly insensitive to the replacement of an active voice with a passive voice**.

This is one of the beginner papers for Natural Language Processing (NLP). NLP techniques are useful for the data that related to time or data with sequential order.

## Reference

[2014 NeurIPS] [Seq2Seq]

Sequence to Sequence Learning with Neural Networks

## Natural Language Processing (NLP)

**2014** [Seq2Seq]