ON THE RELATION BETWEEN ADDITIVE SMOOTHING AND UNIVERSAL CODING
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We analyze the performance of smoothing methods for language modeling from the perspective of universal compression. We use existing asymptotic bounds on the performance of simple additive rules for compression of finite-alphabet memoryless sources to explain the empirical predictive abilities of additive smoothing techniques. We further suggest a smoothing method that overcomes some of the problems observed in previous approaches. The new method outperforms existing ones on the Wall Street Journal(WSJ) database for bigram and trigram models. We then suggest possible directions for future research. 1.