Oscar Täckström to defend his Ph.D. thesis on May 16th

Oscar TäckströmYou are heartily invited to Uppsala for the defense of Oscar's doctoral dissertation "Predicting Linguistic Structure with Incomplete and Cross-Lingual Supervision" with Hal Daumé III (University of Maryland) as the public examiner.


Contemporary approaches to natural language processing are predominantly based on statistical machine learning from large amounts of text, which has been manually annotated with the linguistic structure of interest. However, such complete supervision is currently only available for the world's major languages, in a limited number of domains and for a limited range of tasks. As an alternative, this dissertation considers methods for linguistic structure prediction that can make use of incomplete and cross-lingual supervision, with the prospect of making linguistic processing tools more widely available at a lower cost. An overarching theme of this work is the use of structured discriminative latent variable models for learning with indirect and ambiguous supervision; as instantiated, these models admit rich model features while retaining efficient learning and inference properties.

The first contribution to this end is a latent-variable model for fine-grained sentiment analysis with coarse-grained indirect supervision. The second is a model for cross-lingual word-cluster induction and the application thereof to cross-lingual model transfer. The third is a method for adapting multi-source discriminative cross-lingual transfer models to target languages, by means of typologically informed selective parameter sharing. The fourth is an ambiguity-aware self- and ensemble-training algorithm, which is applied to target language adaptation and relexicalization of delexicalized cross-lingual transfer parsers. The fifth is a set of sequence-labeling models that combine constraints at the level of tokens and types, and an instantiation of these models for part-of-speech tagging with incomplete cross-lingual and crowdsourced supervision. In addition to these contributions, comprehensive overviews are provided of structured prediction with no or incomplete supervision, as well as of learning in the multilingual and cross-lingual settings.

Through careful empirical evaluation, it is established that the proposed methods can be used to create substantially more accurate tools for linguistic processing, compared to both unsupervised methods and to recently proposed cross-lingual methods. The empirical support for this claim is particularly strong in the latter case; our models for syntactic dependency parsing and part-of-speech tagging achieve the hitherto best published results for a wide number of target languages, in the setting where no annotated training data is available in the target language.

Public lectures on machine learning

In connection to the defense, on May 15, there will be a series of public lectures on machine learning methods for language technology by leading experts in the field. See http://stp.ling.uu.se/~nivre/ltl-lectures.html for more information. No pre-registration is needed.


Thursday, May 16, 2013, 10:15
Sal IX, Universitetshuset Uppsala