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School of something FACULTY OF OTHER School of Computing FACULTY OF ENGINEERING Natural Language Processing aka Computational Linguistics aka Text Analytics:

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Presentation on theme: "School of something FACULTY OF OTHER School of Computing FACULTY OF ENGINEERING Natural Language Processing aka Computational Linguistics aka Text Analytics:"— Presentation transcript:

1 School of something FACULTY OF OTHER School of Computing FACULTY OF ENGINEERING Natural Language Processing aka Computational Linguistics aka Text Analytics: Introduction and overview Eric Atwell, Language Research Group (with thanks to Katja Markert, Marti Hearst, and other contributors)

2 Thanks to many others for much of the material; particularly… Katja Markert, Reader, School of Computing, Leeds University Marti Hearst, Associate Professor, School of Information, University of California at Berkeley /faculty/martihearst /f06/sched.html /faculty/martihearst /f06/sched.html School of Computing FACULTY OF ENGINEERING

3 Today Module Objectives Why NLP is difficult: language is a complex system How to solve it? Corpus-based machine-learning approaches Motivation: applications of The Language Machine

4 Objectives On completion of this module, students should be able to: - understand theory and terminology of empirical modelling of natural language; - understand and use algorithms, resources and techniques for implementing and evaluating NLP systems; - be familiar with some of the main language engineering and text analytics application areas; - appreciate why unrestricted natural language processing is still a major research task.

5 Goals of this Module Learn about the problems and possibilities of natural language analysis: What are the major issues? What are the major solutions? How well do they work? How do they work? At the end you should: Agree that language is subtle and interesting! Feel some ownership over the algorithms Be able to assess NLP problems Know which solutions to apply when, and how Be able to read research papers in the field

6 Why is NLP difficult? Computers are not brains There is evidence that much of language understanding is built into the human brain Computers do not socialize Much of language is about communicating with people Key problems: Representation of meaning Language presupposes knowledge about the world Language is ambiguous: a message can have many interpretations Language presupposes communication between people

7 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Dave Bowman: Open the pod bay doors, HAL HAL 9000: Im sorry Dave. Im afraid I cant do that.

8 Adapted from Robert Berwick's 6.863J 8 Hidden Structure English plural pronunciation Toy + s toyz; add z Book + s books; add s Church + s churchiz; add iz Box + s boxiz; add iz Sheep + s sheep; add nothing What about new words? Bach+ s baXs; why not baXiz?

9 Language subtleties Adjective order and placement A big black dog A big black scary dog A big scary dog A scary big dog A black big dog Antonyms Which sizes go together? Big and little Big and small Large and small Large and little

10 Adapted from Robert Berwick's 6.863J 10 World Knowledge is subtle He arrived at the lecture. He chuckled at the lecture. He arrived drunk. He chuckled drunk. He chuckled his way through the lecture. He arrived his way through the lecture.

11 Adapted from Robert Berwick's 6.863J 11 Words are ambiguous: multiple functions and meanings I know that. I know that block. I know that blocks the sun. I know that block blocks the sun.

12 How can a machine understand these differences? Get the cat with the gloves.

13 How can a machine understand these differences? Get the sock from the cat with the gloves. Get the glove from the cat with the socks.

14 How can a machine understand these differences? Decorate the cake with the frosting. Decorate the cake with the kids. Throw out the cake with the frosting. Throw out the cake with the kids.

15 Adapted from Robert Berwick's 6.863J 15 News Headline Ambiguity Iraqi Head Seeks Arms Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant Teacher Strikes Idle Kids Kids Make Nutritious Snacks British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges Bush Wins on Budget, but More Lies Ahead Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors (Headlines leave out punctuation and function-words) Lynne Truss, Eats shoots and leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

16 The Role of Memorization Children learn words quickly Around age two they learn about 1 word every 2 hours. (Or 9 words/day) Often only need one exposure to associate meaning with word Can make mistakes, e.g., overgeneralization I goed to the store. Exactly how they do this is still under study Adult vocabulary Typical adult: about 60,000 words Literate adults: about twice that.

17 The Role of Memorization Dogs can do word association too! Rico, a border collie in Germany Knows the names of each of 100 toys Can retrieve items called out to him with over 90% accuracy. Can also learn and remember the names of unfamiliar toys after just one encounter, putting him on a par with a three-year-old child.

18 Adapted from Robert Berwick's 6.863J 18 But there is too much to memorize! establish establishment the church of England as the official state church. disestablishment antidisestablishment antidisestablishmentarian antidisestablishmentarianism is a political philosophy that is opposed to the separation of church and state. MAYBE we dont remember every word separately; MAYBE we remember MORPHEMES and how to combine them

19 Rules and Memorization Current thinking in psycholinguistics is that we use a combination of rules and memorization However, this is controversial Mechanism: If there is an applicable rule, apply it However, if there is a memorized version, that takes precedence. (Important for irregular words.) Artists paint still lifes Not still lives Past tense of think thought blink blinked This is a simplification…

20 Representation of Meaning I know that block blocks the sun. How do we represent the meanings of block? How do we represent I know? How does that differ from I know that…? Who/what is I? How do we indicate that we are talking about earths sun vs. some other planets sun? When did this take place? What if I move the block? What if I move my viewpoint? How do we represent this?

21 How to tackle these problems? The field was stuck for quite some time… linguistic models for a specific example did not generalise A new approach started around 1990: Corpus Linguistics Well, not really new, but in the 50s to 80s, they didnt have the text, disk space, or GHz Main idea: combine memorizing and rules, learn from data How to do it: Get large text collection (a corpus; plural: several corpora) Compute statistics over the words in the text collection (corpus) Surprisingly effective Even better now with the Web: Web-as-Corpus research

22 Example Problem Grammar checking example: Which word to use? Empirical solution: look at which words surround each use: I am in my third year as the principal of Anamosa High School. School-principal transfers caused some upset. This is a simple formulation of the quantum mechanical uncertainty principle. Power without principle is barren, but principle without power is futile. (Tony Blair)

23 Using Very Large Corpora Keep track of which words are the neighbors of each spelling in well-edited text, e.g.: Principal: high school Principle: rule At grammar-check time, choose the spelling best predicted by the probability of co-occurring with surrounding words. No need to understand the meaning !? Surprising results: Log-linear improvement even to a billion words! Getting more data is better than fine-tuning algorithms!

24 The Effects of LARGE Datasets From Banko & Brill, Scaling to Very Very Large Corpora for Natural Language Disambiguation, Proc ACL

25 Adapted from Robert Berwick's 6.863J 25 Motivation: Real-World Applications of NLP Spelling Suggestions/Corrections Grammar Checking Synonym Generation Information Extraction Text Categorization Automated Customer Service Speech Recognition Machine Translation Question Answering Chatbots Improving Web Search Engine results Automated Metadata Assignment Online Dialogs

26 Machine Translation

27 Information Retrieval, e.g. Google … and scholar, books, products, AdWords, AdSense

28 Synonym Generation

29 Programming: Python and NLTK Python: A suitable programming language Interpreted – easy to test ideas Object-oriented Easy to interface to other things (web, DBMS, TK) Data-structures, OO concepts etc from: java, lisp, tcl, perl Easy to learn, FUN! (?) Python NLTK: Natural Language Tool Kit with demos and tutorials Suggested private study this week: Load python and NLTK onto your own PCs: Read The Language Machine Read NLTK Getting Started

30 Summary: Intro to NLP Module Objectives: learn about NLP and how to apply it Why NLP is difficult: language is a complex system How to solve it? Corpus-based machine-learning approaches Motivation: applications of The Language Machine


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