## Advanced Markov Logic Techniques for Scalable Joint Inference in NLP

##### Abstract

In the early days of the statistical NLP era, many language processing tasks were tackled using the so-called pipeline architecture: the given task is broken into a series of sub-tasks such that the output of one sub-task is an input to the next sub-task in the sequence. The pipeline architecture is appealing for various reasons, including modularity, modeling convenience, and manageable computational complexity. However, it suffers from the error propagation problem: errors made in one sub-task are propagated to the next sub-task in the sequence, leading to poor accuracy on that sub-task, which in turn leads to more errors downstream. Another disadvantage associated with it is lack of feedback: errors made in a sub-task are often not corrected using knowledge uncovered while solving another sub-task down the pipeline.Realizing these weaknesses, researchers have turned to joint inference approaches in recent years. One such approach involves the use of Markov logic, which is defined as a set of weighted first-order logic formulas and, at a high level, unifies first-order logic with probabilistic graphical models. It is an ideal modeling language (knowledge representation) for compactly representing relational and uncertain knowledge in NLP. In a typical use case of MLNs in NLP, the application designer describes the background knowledge using a few first-order logic sentences and then uses software packages such as Alchemy, Tuffy, and Markov the beast to perform learning and inference (prediction) over the MLN. However, despite its obvious advantages, over the years, researchers and practitioners have found it difficult to use MLNs effectively in many NLP applications. The main reason for this is that it is hard to scale inference and learning algorithms for MLNs to large datasets and complex models, that are typical in NLP.In this tutorial, we will introduce the audience to recent advances in scaling up inference and learning in MLNs as well as new approaches to make MLNs a "black-box" for NLP applications (with only minor tuning required on the part of the user). Specifically, we will introduce attendees to a key idea that has emerged in the MLN research community over the last few years, lifted inference , which refers to inference techniques that take advantage of symmetries (e.g., synonyms), both exact and approximate, in the MLN . We will describe how these next-generation inference techniques can be used to perform effective joint inference. We will also present our new software package for inference and learning in MLNs, Alchemy 2.0, which is based on lifted inference, focusing primarily on how it can be used to scale up inference and learning in large models and datasets for applications such as semantic similarity determination, information extraction and question answering.- Anthology ID:
- D16-2002
- Volume:
- Proceedings of the 2016 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: Tutorial Abstracts
- Month:
- November
- Year:
- 2016
- Address:
- Austin, Texas
- Editors:
- Bishan Yang, Rebecca Hwa
- Venue:
- EMNLP
- SIG:
- SIGDAT
- Publisher:
- Association for Computational Linguistics
- Note:
- Pages:
- Language:
- URL:
- https://aclanthology.org/D16-2002
- DOI:
- Cite (ACL):
- Deepak Venugopal, Vibhav Gogate, and Vincent Ng. 2016. Advanced Markov Logic Techniques for Scalable Joint Inference in NLP. In
*Proceedings of the 2016 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: Tutorial Abstracts*, Austin, Texas. Association for Computational Linguistics. - Cite (Informal):
- Advanced Markov Logic Techniques for Scalable Joint Inference in NLP (Venugopal et al., EMNLP 2016)