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67
An Empirical Study of Smoothing Techniques for Language Modeling
, 1998
"... We present an extensive empirical comparison of several smoothing techniques in the domain of language modeling, including those described by Jelinek and Mercer (1980), Katz (1987), and Church and Gale (1991). We investigate for the first time how factors such as training data size, corpus (e.g., Br ..."
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Cited by 850 (20 self)
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We present an extensive empirical comparison of several smoothing techniques in the domain of language modeling, including those described by Jelinek and Mercer (1980), Katz (1987), and Church and Gale (1991). We investigate for the first time how factors such as training data size, corpus (e.g., Brown versus Wall Street Journal), and ngram order (bigram versus trigram) affect the relative performance of these methods, which we measure through the crossentropy of test data. In addition, we introduce two novel smoothing techniques, one a variation of JelinekMercer smoothing and one a very simple linear interpolation technique, both of which outperform existing methods. 1
The Infinite Hidden Markov Model
 Machine Learning
, 2002
"... We show that it is possible to extend hidden Markov models to have a countably infinite number of hidden states. By using the theory of Dirichlet processes we can implicitly integrate out the infinitely many transition parameters, leaving only three hyperparameters which can be learned from data. Th ..."
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Cited by 488 (33 self)
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We show that it is possible to extend hidden Markov models to have a countably infinite number of hidden states. By using the theory of Dirichlet processes we can implicitly integrate out the infinitely many transition parameters, leaving only three hyperparameters which can be learned from data. These three hyperparameters define a hierarchical Dirichlet process capable of capturing a rich set of transition dynamics. The three hyperparameters control the time scale of the dynamics, the sparsity of the underlying statetransition matrix, and the expected number of distinct hidden states in a finite sequence. In this framework it is also natural to allow the alphabet of emitted symbols to be infiniteconsider, for example, symbols being possible words appearing in English text.
A Gaussian Prior for Smoothing Maximum Entropy Models
, 1999
"... In certain contexts, maximum entropy (ME) modeling can be viewed as maximum likelihood training for exponential models, and like other maximum likelihood methods is prone to overfitting of training data. Several smoothing methods for maximum entropy models have been proposed to address this problem, ..."
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Cited by 229 (2 self)
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In certain contexts, maximum entropy (ME) modeling can be viewed as maximum likelihood training for exponential models, and like other maximum likelihood methods is prone to overfitting of training data. Several smoothing methods for maximum entropy models have been proposed to address this problem, but previous results do not make it clear how these smoothing methods compare with smoothing methods for other types of related models. In this work, we survey previous work in maximum entropy smoothing and compare the performance of several of these algorithms with conventional techniques for smoothing ngram language models. Because of the mature body of research in ngram model smoothing and the close connection between maximum entropy and conventional ngram models, this domain is wellsuited to gauge the performance of maximum entropy smoothing methods. Over a large number of data sets, we find that an ME smoothing method proposed to us by Lafferty [1] performs as well as or better tha...
A fully bayesian approach to unsupervised partofspeech tagging
 In ACL
, 2007
"... Unsupervised learning of linguistic structure is a difficult problem. A common approach is to define a generative model and maximize the probability of the hidden structure given the observed data. Typically, this is done using maximumlikelihood estimation (MLE) of the model parameters. We show usi ..."
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Cited by 114 (0 self)
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Unsupervised learning of linguistic structure is a difficult problem. A common approach is to define a generative model and maximize the probability of the hidden structure given the observed data. Typically, this is done using maximumlikelihood estimation (MLE) of the model parameters. We show using partofspeech tagging that a fully Bayesian approach can greatly improve performance. Rather than estimating a single set of parameters, the Bayesian approach integrates over all possible parameter values. This difference ensures that the learned structure will have high probability over a range of possible parameters, and permits the use of priors favoring the sparse distributions that are typical of natural language. Our model has the structure of a standard trigram HMM, yet its accuracy is closer to that of a stateoftheart discriminative model (Smith and Eisner, 2005), up to 14 percentage points better than MLE. We find improvements both when training from data alone, and using a tagging dictionary. 1
A Bit of Progress in Language Modeling
, 2001
"... Language modeling is the art of determining the probability of a sequence of words. This is useful in a large variety of areas including speech recognition, optical character recognition, handwriting recognition, machine translation, and spelling correction (Church, 1988; Brown et al., 1990; Hull, 1 ..."
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Cited by 87 (2 self)
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Language modeling is the art of determining the probability of a sequence of words. This is useful in a large variety of areas including speech recognition, optical character recognition, handwriting recognition, machine translation, and spelling correction (Church, 1988; Brown et al., 1990; Hull, 1992; Kernighan et al., 1990; Srihari and Baltus, 1992). The most commonly used language models are very simple (e.g. a Katzsmoothed trigram model). There are many improvements over this simple model however, including caching, clustering, higherorder ngrams, skipping models, and sentencemixture models, all of which we will describe below. Unfortunately, these more complicated techniques have rarely been examined in combination. It is entirely possible that two techniques that work well separately will not work well together, and, as we will show, even possible that some techniques will work better together than either one does by itself. In this...
A survey of smoothing techniques for ME models
 IEEE Transactions on Speech and Audio Processing
, 2000
"... Abstract—In certain contexts, maximum entropy (ME) modeling can be viewed as maximum likelihood (ML) training for exponential models, and like other ML methods is prone to overfitting of training data. Several smoothing methods for ME models have been proposed to address this problem, but previous r ..."
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Cited by 85 (1 self)
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Abstract—In certain contexts, maximum entropy (ME) modeling can be viewed as maximum likelihood (ML) training for exponential models, and like other ML methods is prone to overfitting of training data. Several smoothing methods for ME models have been proposed to address this problem, but previous results do not make it clear how these smoothing methods compare with smoothing methods for other types of related models. In this work, we survey previous work in ME smoothing and compare the performance of several of these algorithms with conventional techniques for smoothinggram language models. Because of the mature body of research ingram model smoothing and the close connection between ME and conventionalgram models, this domain is wellsuited to gauge the performance of ME smoothing methods. Over a large number of data sets, we find that fuzzy ME smoothing performs as well as or better than all other algorithms under consideration. We contrast this method with previousgram smoothing methods to explain its superior performance. Index Terms—Exponential models, language modeling, maximum entropy, minimum divergence,gram models, smoothing.
Topic modeling: beyond bagofwords
 NIPS 2005 Workshop on Bayesian Methods for Natural Language Processing
, 2005
"... Some models of textual corpora employ text generation methods involving ngram statistics, while others use latent topic variables inferred using the “bagofwords ” assumption, in which word order is ignored. Previously, these methods have not been combined. In this work, I explore a hierarchical g ..."
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Cited by 84 (3 self)
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Some models of textual corpora employ text generation methods involving ngram statistics, while others use latent topic variables inferred using the “bagofwords ” assumption, in which word order is ignored. Previously, these methods have not been combined. In this work, I explore a hierarchical generative probabilistic model that incorporates both ngram statistics and latent topic variables by extending a unigram topic model to include properties of a hierarchical Dirichlet bigram language model. The model hyperparameters are inferred using a Gibbs EM algorithm. On two data sets, each of 150 documents, the new model exhibits better predictive accuracy than either a hierarchical Dirichlet bigram language model or a unigram topic model. Additionally, the inferred topics are less dominated by function words than are topics discovered using unigram statistics, potentially making them more meaningful. 1.
Ensemble Learning for Hidden Markov Models
, 1997
"... The standard method for training Hidden Markov Models optimizes a point estimate of the model parameters. This estimate, which can be viewed as the maximum of a posterior probability density over the model parameters, may be susceptible to overfitting, and contains no indication of parameter uncerta ..."
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Cited by 79 (0 self)
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The standard method for training Hidden Markov Models optimizes a point estimate of the model parameters. This estimate, which can be viewed as the maximum of a posterior probability density over the model parameters, may be susceptible to overfitting, and contains no indication of parameter uncertainty. Also, this maximummay be unrepresentative of the posterior probability distribution. In this paper we study a method in which we optimize an ensemble which approximates the entire posterior probability distribution. The ensemble learning algorithm requires the same resources as the traditional BaumWelch algorithm. The traditional training algorithm for hidden Markov models is an expectation maximization (EM) algorithm (Dempster et al. 1977) known as the BaumWelch algorithm. It is a maximum likelihood method, or, with a simple modification, a penalized maximum likelihood method, which can be viewed as maximizing a posterior probability density over the model parameters. Recently, ...