Computational Linguistics, Volume 43, Issue 2 - June 2017

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Cambridge, MA
MIT Press
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Computational Linguistics, Volume 43, Issue 2 - June 2017

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A Comprehensive Analysis of Bilingual Lexicon Induction
Ann Irvine | Chris Callison-Burch

Bilingual lexicon induction is the task of inducing word translations from monolingual corpora in two languages. In this article we present the most comprehensive analysis of bilingual lexicon induction to date. We present experiments on a wide range of languages and data sizes. We examine translation into English from 25 foreign languages: Albanian, Azeri, Bengali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Cebuano, Gujarati, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Latvian, Nepali, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak, Somali, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Turkish, Ukrainian, Uzbek, Vietnamese, and Welsh. We analyze the behavior of bilingual lexicon induction on low-frequency words, rather than testing solely on high-frequency words, as previous research has done. Low-frequency words are more relevant to statistical machine translation, where systems typically lack translations of rare words that fall outside of their training data. We systematically explore a wide range of features and phenomena that affect the quality of the translations discovered by bilingual lexicon induction. We provide illustrative examples of the highest ranking translations for orthogonal signals of translation equivalence like contextual similarity and temporal similarity. We analyze the effects of frequency and burstiness, and the sizes of the seed bilingual dictionaries and the monolingual training corpora. Additionally, we introduce a novel discriminative approach to bilingual lexicon induction. Our discriminative model is capable of combining a wide variety of features that individually provide only weak indications of translation equivalence. When feature weights are discriminatively set, these signals produce dramatically higher translation quality than previous approaches that combined signals in an unsupervised fashion (e.g., using minimum reciprocal rank). We also directly compare our model’s performance against a sophisticated generative approach, the matching canonical correlation analysis (MCCA) algorithm used by Haghighi et al. (2008). Our algorithm achieves an accuracy of 42% versus MCCA’s 15%.

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Greedy Transition-Based Dependency Parsing with Stack LSTMs
Miguel Ballesteros | Chris Dyer | Yoav Goldberg | Noah A. Smith

We introduce a greedy transition-based parser that learns to represent parser states using recurrent neural networks. Our primary innovation that enables us to do this efficiently is a new control structure for sequential neural networks—the stack long short-term memory unit (LSTM). Like the conventional stack data structures used in transition-based parsers, elements can be pushed to or popped from the top of the stack in constant time, but, in addition, an LSTM maintains a continuous space embedding of the stack contents. Our model captures three facets of the parser’s state: (i) unbounded look-ahead into the buffer of incoming words, (ii) the complete history of transition actions taken by the parser, and (iii) the complete contents of the stack of partially built tree fragments, including their internal structures. In addition, we compare two different word representations: (i) standard word vectors based on look-up tables and (ii) character-based models of words. Although standard word embedding models work well in all languages, the character-based models improve the handling of out-of-vocabulary words, particularly in morphologically rich languages. Finally, we discuss the use of dynamic oracles in training the parser. During training, dynamic oracles alternate between sampling parser states from the training data and from the model as it is being learned, making the model more robust to the kinds of errors that will be made at test time. Training our model with dynamic oracles yields a linear-time greedy parser with very competitive performance.

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Statistical Models for Unsupervised, Semi-Supervised Supervised Transliteration Mining
Hassan Sajjad | Helmut Schmid | Alexander Fraser | Hinrich Schütze

We present a generative model that efficiently mines transliteration pairs in a consistent fashion in three different settings: unsupervised, semi-supervised, and supervised transliteration mining. The model interpolates two sub-models, one for the generation of transliteration pairs and one for the generation of non-transliteration pairs (i.e., noise). The model is trained on noisy unlabeled data using the EM algorithm. During training the transliteration sub-model learns to generate transliteration pairs and the fixed non-transliteration model generates the noise pairs. After training, the unlabeled data is disambiguated based on the posterior probabilities of the two sub-models. We evaluate our transliteration mining system on data from a transliteration mining shared task and on parallel corpora. For three out of four language pairs, our system outperforms all semi-supervised and supervised systems that participated in the NEWS 2010 shared task. On word pairs extracted from parallel corpora with fewer than 2% transliteration pairs, our system achieves up to 86.7% F-measure with 77.9% precision and 97.8% recall.

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Identifying and Avoiding Confusion in Dialogue with People with Alzheimer’s Disease
Hamidreza Chinaei | Leila Chan Currie | Andrew Danks | Hubert Lin | Tejas Mehta | Frank Rudzicz

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an increasingly prevalent cognitive disorder in which memory, language, and executive function deteriorate, usually in that order. There is a growing need to support individuals with AD and other forms of dementia in their daily lives, and our goal is to do so through speech-based interaction. Given that 33% of conversations with people with middle-stage AD involve a breakdown in communication, it is vital that automated dialogue systems be able to identify those breakdowns and, if possible, avoid them. In this article, we discuss several linguistic features that are verbal indicators of confusion in AD (including vocabulary richness, parse tree structures, and acoustic cues) and apply several machine learning algorithms to identify dialogue-relevant confusion from speech with up to 82% accuracy. We also learn dialogue strategies to avoid confusion in the first place, which is accomplished using a partially observable Markov decision process and which obtains accuracies (up to 96.1%) that are significantly higher than several baselines. This work represents a major step towards automated dialogue systems for individuals with dementia.

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Framing QA as Building and Ranking Intersentence Answer Justifications
Peter Jansen | Rebecca Sharp | Mihai Surdeanu | Peter Clark

We propose a question answering (QA) approach for standardized science exams that both identifies correct answers and produces compelling human-readable justifications for why those answers are correct. Our method first identifies the actual information needed in a question using psycholinguistic concreteness norms, then uses this information need to construct answer justifications by aggregating multiple sentences from different knowledge bases using syntactic and lexical information. We then jointly rank answers and their justifications using a reranking perceptron that treats justification quality as a latent variable. We evaluate our method on 1,000 multiple-choice questions from elementary school science exams, and empirically demonstrate that it performs better than several strong baselines, including neural network approaches. Our best configuration answers 44% of the questions correctly, where the top justifications for 57% of these correct answers contain a compelling human-readable justification that explains the inference required to arrive at the correct answer. We include a detailed characterization of the justification quality for both our method and a strong baseline, and show that information aggregation is key to addressing the information need in complex questions.

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Squib: Effects of Cognitive Effort on the Resolution of Overspecified Descriptions
Ivandré Paraboni | Alex Gwo Jen Lan | Matheus Mendes de Sant’Ana | Flávio Luiz Coutinho

Studies in referring expression generation (REG) have shown different effects of referential overspecification on the resolution of certain descriptions. To further investigate effects of this kind, this article reports two eye-tracking experiments that measure the time required to recognize target objects based on different kinds of information. Results suggest that referential overspecification may be either helpful or detrimental to identification depending on the kind of information that is actually overspecified, an insight that may be useful for the design of more informed hearer-oriented REG algorithms.

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Book Review: Linked Lexical Knowledge Bases Foundations and Applications by Iryna Gurevych, Judith Eckle-er and Michael Matuschek
Maud Ehrmann