Fourth Workshop on Computational Approaches to Arabic-Script-based Languages

Ali Farghaly, Farhad Oroumchian (Editors)

Anthology ID:
November 1
San Diego, California, USA
Association for Machine Translation in the Americas
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Fourth Workshop on Computational Approaches to Arabic-Script-based Languages
Ali Farghaly | Farhad Oroumchian

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Translating English Discourse Connectives into Arabic: a Corpus-based Analysis and an Evaluation Metric
Najeh Hajlaoui | Andrei Popescu-Belis

Discourse connectives can often signal multiple discourse relations, depending on their context. The automatic identification of the Arabic translations of seven English discourse connectives shows how these connectives are differently translated depending on their actual senses. Automatic labelling of English source connectives can help a machine translation system to translate them more correctly. The corpus-based analysis of Arabic translations also enables the definition of a connective-specific evaluation metric for machine translation, which is here validated by human judges on sample English/Arabic translation data.

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Idiomatic MWEs and Machine Translation A Retrieval and Representation Model: the AraMWE Project
Giuliano Lancioni | Marco Boella

A preliminary implementation of AraMWE, a hybrid project that includes a statistical component and a CCG symbolic component to extract and treat MWEs and idioms in Arabic and Eng- lish parallel texts is presented, together with a general sketch of the system, a thorough description of the statistical component and a proof of concept of the CCG component.

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Developing an Open-domain English-Farsi Translation System Using AFEC: Amirkabir Bilingual Farsi-English Corpus
Fattaneh Jabbari | Somayeh Bakshaei | Seyyed Mohammad Mohammadzadeh Ziabary | Shahram Khadivi

The translation quality of Statistical Machine Translation (SMT) depends on the amount of input data especially for morphologically rich languages. Farsi (Persian) language is such a language which has few NLP resources. It also suffers from the non-standard written characters which causes a large variety in the written form of each character. Moreover, the structural difference between Farsi and English results in long range reorderings which cannot be modeled by common SMT reordering models. Here, we try to improve the existing English-Farsi SMT system focusing on these challenges first by expanding our bilingual limited-domain corpus to an open-domain one. Then, to alleviate the character variations, a new text normalization algorithm is offered. Finally, some hand-crafted rules are applied to reduce the structural differences. Using the new corpus, the experimental results showed 8.82% BLEU improvement by applying new normalization method and 9.1% BLEU when rules are used.

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ARNE - A tool for Namend Entity Recognition from Arabic Text
Carolin Shihadeh | Günter Neumann

In this paper, we study the problem of finding named entities in the Arabic text. For this task we present the development of our pipeline software for Arabic named entity recognition (ARNE), which includes tokenization, morphological analysis, Buckwalter transliteration, part of speech tagging and named entity recognition of person, location and organisation named entities. In our first attempt to recognize named entites, we have used a simple, fast and language independent gazetteer lookup approach. In our second attempt, we have used the morphological analysis provided by our pipeline to remove affixes and observed hence an improvement in our performance. The pipeline presented in this paper, can be used in future as a basis for a named entity recognition system that recognized named entites not only using gazetteers, but also making use of morphological information and part of speech tagging.

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Approaches to Arabic Name Transliteration and Matching in the DataFlux Quality Knowledge Base
Brant N. Kay | Brian C. Rineer

This paper discusses a hybrid approach to transliterating and matching Arabic names, as implemented in the DataFlux Quality Knowledge Base (QKB), a knowledge base used by data management software systems from SAS Institute, Inc. The approach to transliteration relies on a lexicon of names with their corresponding transliterations as its primary method, and falls back on PERL regular expression rules to transliterate any names that do not exist in the lexicon. Transliteration in the QKB is bi-directional; the technology transliterates Arabic names written in the Arabic script to the Latin script, and transliterates Arabic names written in the Latin script to Arabic. Arabic name matching takes a similar approach and relies on a lexicon of Arabic names and their corresponding transliterations, falling back on phonetic transliteration rules to transliterate names into the Latin script. All names are ultimately rendered in the Latin script before matching takes place. Thus, the technology is capable of matching names across the Arabic and Latin scripts, as well as within the Arabic script or within the Latin script. The goal of the authors of this paper was to build a software system capable of transliterating and matching Arabic names across scripts with an accuracy deemed to be acceptable according to internal software quality standards.

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Using Arabic Transliteration to Improve Word Alignment from French- Arabic Parallel Corpora
Houda Saadane | Ouafa Benterki | Nasredine Semmar | Christian Fluhr

In this paper, we focus on the use of Arabic transliteration to improve the results of a linguistics-based word alignment approach from parallel text corpora. This approach uses, on the one hand, a bilingual lexicon, named entities, cognates and grammatical tags to align single words, and on the other hand, syntactic dependency relations to align compound words. We have evaluated the word aligner integrating Arabic transliteration using two methods: A manual evaluation of the alignment quality and an evaluation of the impact of this alignment on the translation quality by using the Moses statistical machine translation system. The obtained results show that Arabic transliteration improves the quality of both alignment and translation.

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Preprocessing Egyptian Dialect Tweets for Sentiment Mining
Amira Shoukry | Ahmed Rafea

Research done on Arabic sentiment analysis is considered very limited almost in its early steps compared to other languages like English whether at document-level or sentence-level. In this paper, we test the effect of preprocessing (normalization, stemming, and stop words removal) on the performance of an Arabic sentiment analysis system using Arabic tweets from twitter. The sentiment (positive or negative) of the crawled tweets is analyzed to interpret the attitude of the public with regards to topic of interest. Using Twitter as the main source of data reflects the importance of the system for the Middle East region, which mostly speaks Arabic.

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Rescoring N-Best Hypotheses for Arabic Speech Recognition: A Syntax- Mining Approach
Dia AbuZeina | Moustafa Elshafei | Husni Al-Muhtaseb | Wasfi Al-Khatib

Improving speech recognition accuracy through linguistic knowledge is a major research area in automatic speech recognition systems. In this paper, we present a syntax-mining approach to rescore N-Best hypotheses for Arabic speech recognition systems. The method depends on a machine learning tool (WEKA-3-6-5) to extract the N-Best syntactic rules of the Baseline tagged transcription corpus which was tagged using Stanford Arabic tagger. The proposed method was tested using the Baseline system that contains a pronunciation dictionary of 17,236 vocabularies (28,682 words and variants) from 7.57 hours pronunciation corpus of modern standard Arabic (MSA) broadcast news. Using Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) PocketSphinx speech recognition engine, the Baseline system achieved a Word Error Rate (WER) of 16.04 % on a test set of 400 utterances ( about 0.57 hours) containing 3585 diacritized words. Even though there were enhancements in some tested files, we found that this method does not lead to significant enhancement (for Arabic). Based on this research work, we conclude this paper by introducing a new design for language models to account for longer-distance constrains, instead of a few proceeding words.

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Morphological Segmentation and Part of Speech Tagging for Religious Arabic
Emad Mohamed

We annotate a small corpus of religious Arabic with morphological segmentation boundaries and fine-grained segment-based part of speech tags. Experiments on both segmentation and POS tagging show that the religious corpus-trained segmenter and POS tagger outperform the Arabic Treebak-trained ones although the latter is 21 times as big, which shows the need for building religious Arabic linguistic resources. The small corpus we annotate improves segmentation accuracy by 5% absolute (from 90.84% to 95.70%), and POS tagging by 9% absolute (from 82.22% to 91.26) when using gold standard segmentation, and by 9.6% absolute (from 78.62% to 88.22) when using automatic segmentation.

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Exploiting Wikipedia as a Knowledge Base for the Extraction of Linguistic Resources: Application on Arabic-French Comparable Corpora and Bilingual Lexicons
Rahma Sellami | Fatiha Sadat | Lamia Hadrich Belguith

We present simple and effective methods for extracting comparable corpora and bilingual lexicons from Wikipedia. We shall exploit the large scale and the structure of Wikipedia articles to extract two resources that will be very useful for natural language applications. We build a comparable corpus from Wikipedia using categories as topic restrictions and we extract bilingual lexicons from inter-language links aligned with statistical method or a combined statistical and linguistic method.