Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Finite-State Methods and Natural Language Processing

Heiko Vogler, Andreas Maletti (Editors)

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Dresden, Germany
Association for Computational Linguistics
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Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Finite-State Methods and Natural Language Processing
Heiko Vogler | Andreas Maletti

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Grammatical Framework: an Interlingual Grammar Formalism
Aarne Ranta

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A Survey of Recent Advances in Efficient Parsing for Graph Grammars
Frank Drewes

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Latent Variable Grammars for Discontinuous Parsing
Kilian Gebhardt

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Bottom-Up Unranked Tree-to-Graph Transducers for Translation into Semantic Graphs
Johanna Björklund | Shay B. Cohen | Frank Drewes | Giorgio Satta

We propose a formal model for translating unranked syntactic trees, such as dependency trees, into semantic graphs. These tree-to-graph transducers can serve as a formal basis of transition systems for semantic parsing which recently have been shown to perform very well, yet hitherto lack formalization. Our model features “extended” rules and an arc-factored normal form, comes with an efficient translation algorithm, and can be equipped with weights in a straightforward manner.

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On the Compression of Lexicon Transducers
Marco Cognetta | Cyril Allauzen | Michael Riley

In finite-state language processing pipelines, a lexicon is often a key component. It needs to be comprehensive to ensure accuracy, reducing out-of-vocabulary misses. However, in memory-constrained environments (e.g., mobile phones), the size of the component automata must be kept small. Indeed, a delicate balance between comprehensiveness, speed, and memory must be struck to conform to device requirements while providing a good user experience.In this paper, we describe a compression scheme for lexicons when represented as finite-state transducers. We efficiently encode the graph of the transducer while storing transition labels separately. The graph encoding scheme is based on the LOUDS (Level Order Unary Degree Sequence) tree representation, which has constant time tree traversal for queries while being information-theoretically optimal in space. We find that our encoding is near the theoretical lower bound for such graphs and substantially outperforms more traditional representations in space while remaining competitive in latency benchmarks.

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MSO with tests and reducts
Tim Fernando | David Woods | Carl Vogel

Tests added to Kleene algebra (by Kozen and others) are considered within Monadic Second Order logic over strings, where they are likened to statives in natural language. Reducts are formed over tests and non-tests alike, specifying what is observable. Notions of temporal granularity are based on observable change, under the assumption that a finite set bounds what is observable (with the possibility of stretching such bounds by moving to a larger finite set). String projections at different granularities are conjoined by superpositions that provide another variant of concatenation for Booleans.

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Finite State Transducer Calculus for Whole Word Morphology
Maciej Janicki

The research on machine learning of morphology often involves formulating morphological descriptions directly on surface forms of words. As the established two-level morphology paradigm requires the knowledge of the underlying structure, it is not widely used in such settings. In this paper, we propose a formalism describing structural relationships between words based on theories of morphology that reject the notions of internal word structure and morpheme. The formalism covers a wide variety of morphological phenomena (including non-concatenative ones like stem vowel alternation) without the need of workarounds and extensions. Furthermore, we show that morphological rules formulated in such way can be easily translated to FSTs, which enables us to derive performant approaches to morphological analysis, generation and automatic rule discovery.

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Weighted parsing for grammar-based language models
Richard Mörbitz | Heiko Vogler

We develop a general framework for weighted parsing which is built on top of grammar-based language models and employs flexible weight algebras. It generalizes previous work in that area (semiring parsing, weighted deductive parsing) and also covers applications outside the classical scope of parsing, e.g., algebraic dynamic programming. We show an algorithm which terminates and is correct for a large class of weighted grammar-based language models.

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Regular transductions with MCFG input syntax
Mark-Jan Nederhof | Heiko Vogler

We show that regular transductions for which the input part is generated by some multiple context-free grammar can be simulated by synchronous multiple context-free grammars. We prove that synchronous multiple context-free grammars are strictly more powerful than this combination of regular transductions and multiple context-free grammars.

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A Syntactically Expressive Morphological Analyzer for Turkish
Adnan Ozturel | Tolga Kayadelen | Isin Demirsahin

We present a broad coverage model of Turkish morphology and an open-source morphological analyzer that implements it. The model captures intricacies of Turkish morphology-syntax interface, thus could be used as a baseline that guides language model development. It introduces a novel fine part-of-speech tagset, a fine-grained affix inventory and represents morphotactics without zero-derivations. The morphological analyzer is freely available. It consists of modular reusable components of human-annotated gold standard lexicons, implements Turkish morphotactics as finite-state transducers using OpenFst and morphophonemic processes as Thrax grammars.

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Using Meta-Morph Rules to develop Morphological Analysers: A case study concerning Tamil
Kengatharaiyer Sarveswaran | Gihan Dias | Miriam Butt

This paper describes a new and larger coverage Finite-State Morphological Analyser (FSM) and Generator for the Dravidian language Tamil. The FSM has been developed in the context of computational grammar engineering, adhering to the standards of the ParGram effort. Tamil is a morphologically rich language and the interaction between linguistic analysis and formal implementation is complex, resulting in a challenging task. In order to allow the development of the FSM to focus more on the linguistic analysis and less on the formal details, we have developed a system of meta-morph(ology) rules along with a script which translates these rules into FSM processable representations. The introduction of meta-morph rules makes it possible for computationally naive linguists to interact with the system and to expand it in future work. We found that the meta-morph rules help to express linguistic generalisations and reduce the manual effort of writing lexical classes for morphological analysis. Our Tamil FSM currently handles mainly the inflectional morphology of 3,300 verb roots and their 260 forms. Further, it also has a lexicon of approximately 100,000 nouns along with a guesser to handle out-of-vocabulary items. Although the Tamil FSM was primarily developed to be part of a computational grammar, it can also be used as a web or stand-alone application for other NLP tasks, as per general ParGram practice.

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Distilling weighted finite automata from arbitrary probabilistic models
Ananda Theertha Suresh | Brian Roark | Michael Riley | Vlad Schogol

Weighted finite automata (WFA) are often used to represent probabilistic models, such as n-gram language models, since they are efficient for recognition tasks in time and space. The probabilistic source to be represented as a WFA, however, may come in many forms. Given a generic probabilistic model over sequences, we propose an algorithm to approximate it as a weighted finite automaton such that the Kullback-Leibler divergence between the source model and the WFA target model is minimized. The proposed algorithm involves a counting step and a difference of convex optimization, both of which can be performed efficiently. We demonstrate the usefulness of our approach on some tasks including distilling n-gram models from neural models.

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Silent HMMs: Generalized Representation of Hidden Semi-Markov Models and Hierarchical HMMs
Kei Wakabayashi

Modeling sequence data using probabilistic finite state machines (PFSMs) is a technique that analyzes the underlying dynamics in sequences of symbols. Hidden semi-Markov models (HSMMs) and hierarchical hidden Markov models (HHMMs) are PFSMs that have been successfully applied to a wide variety of applications by extending HMMs to make the extracted patterns easier to interpret. However, these models are independently developed with their own training algorithm, so that we cannot combine multiple kinds of structures to build a PFSM for a specific application. In this paper, we prove that silent hidden Markov models (silent HMMs) are flexible models that have more expressive power than HSMMs and HHMMs. Silent HMMs are HMMs that contain silent states, which do not emit any observations. We show that we can obtain silent HMM equivalent to given HSMMs and HHMMs. We believe that these results form a firm foundation to use silent HMMs as a unified representation for PFSM modeling.

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Latin script keyboards for South Asian languages with finite-state normalization
Lawrence Wolf-Sonkin | Vlad Schogol | Brian Roark | Michael Riley

The use of the Latin script for text entry of South Asian languages is common, even though there is no standard orthography for these languages in the script. We explore several compact finite-state architectures that permit variable spellings of words during mobile text entry. We find that approaches making use of transliteration transducers provide large accuracy improvements over baselines, but that simpler approaches involving a compact representation of many attested alternatives yields much of the accuracy gain. This is particularly important when operating under constraints on model size (e.g., on inexpensive mobile devices with limited storage and memory for keyboard models), and on speed of inference, since people typing on mobile keyboards expect no perceptual delay in keyboard responsiveness.

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Transition-Based Coding and Formal Language Theory for Ordered Digraphs
Anssi Yli-Jyrä

Transition-based parsing of natural language uses transition systems to build directed annotation graphs (digraphs) for sentences. In this paper, we define, for an arbitrary ordered digraph, a unique decomposition and a corresponding linear encoding that are associated bijectively with each other via a new transition system. These results give us an efficient and succinct representation for digraphs and sets of digraphs. Based on the system and our analysis of its syntactic properties, we give structural bounds under which the set of encoded digraphs is restricted and becomes a context-free or a regular string language. The context-free restriction is essentially a superset of the encodings used previously to characterize properties of noncrossing digraphs and to solve maximal subgraphs problems. The regular restriction with a tight bound is shown to capture the Universal Dependencies v2.4 treebanks in linguistics.