Analysis of Joint Multilingual Sentence Representations and Semantic K-Nearest Neighbor Graphs

  • Holger Schwenk Facebook AI Research
  • Douwe Kiela Facebook AI Research
  • Matthijs Douze Facebook AI Research


Multilingual sentence and document representations are becoming increasingly important. We build on recent advances in multilingual sentence encoders, with a focus on efficiency and large-scale applicability. Specifically, we construct and investigate the k-nn graph over the joint space of 566 million news sentences in seven different languages. We show excellent multilingual retrieval quality on the UN corpus of 11.3M sentences, which extends to the zero-shot case where we have never seen a language. We provide a detailed analysis of both the multilingual sentence encoder for twenty-one European languages and the learned graph. Our sentence encoder is language agnostic and supports code switching.

AAAI Technical Track: Natural Language Processing