Deep Learning and Parsing

Jason Baldridge tweets that the work of James Henderson (Google Scholar) should get more cites for deep learning and parsing.

Jason points to the following two works (early 1990’s) in particular:

Description Based Parsing in a Connectionist Network by James B. Henderson.

Abstract:

Recent developments in connectionist architectures for symbolic computation have made it possible to investigate parsing in a connectionist network while still taking advantage of the large body of work on parsing in symbolic frameworks. This dissertation investigates syntactic parsing in the temporal synchrony variable binding model of symbolic computation in a connectionist network. This computational architecture solves the basic problem with previous connectionist architectures,
while keeping their advantages. However, the architecture does have some limitations, which impose computational constraints on parsing in this architecture. This dissertation argues that, despite these constraints, the architecture is computationally adequate for syntactic parsing, and that these constraints make signi cant linguistic predictions. To make these arguments, the nature of the architecture’s limitations are fi rst characterized as a set of constraints on symbolic
computation. This allows the investigation of the feasibility and implications of parsing in the architecture to be investigated at the same level of abstraction as virtually all other investigations of syntactic parsing. Then a specifi c parsing model is developed and implemented in the architecture. The extensive use of partial descriptions of phrase structure trees is crucial to the ability of this model to recover the syntactic structure of sentences within the constraints. Finally, this parsing model is tested on those phenomena which are of particular concern given the constraints, and on an approximately unbiased sample of sentences to check for unforeseen difficulties. The results show that this connectionist architecture is powerful enough for syntactic parsing. They also show that some linguistic phenomena are predicted by the limitations of this architecture. In particular, explanations are given for many cases of unacceptable center embedding, and for several signifi cant constraints on long distance dependencies. These results give evidence for the cognitive signi ficance
of this computational architecture and parsing model. This work also shows how the advantages of both connectionist and symbolic techniques can be uni ed in natural language processing applications. By analyzing how low level biological and computational considerations influence higher level processing, this work has furthered our understanding of the nature of language and how it can be efficiently and e ffectively processed.

Connectionist Syntactic Parsing Using Temporal Variable Binding by James Henderson.

Abstract:

Recent developments in connectionist architectures for symbolic computation have made it possible to investigate parsing in a connectionist network while still taking advantage of the large body of work on parsing in symbolic frameworks. The work discussed here investigates syntactic parsing in the temporal synchrony variable binding model of symbolic computation in a connectionist network. This computational architecture solves the basic problem with previous connectionist architectures, while keeping their advantages. However, the architecture does have some limitations, which impose constraints on parsing in this architecture. Despite these constraints, the architecture is computationally adequate for syntactic parsing. In addition, the constraints make some signifi cant linguistic predictions. These arguments are made using a specifi c parsing model. The extensive use of partial descriptions of phrase structure trees is crucial to the ability of this model to recover the syntactic structure of sentences within the constraints imposed by the architecture.

Enjoy!

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