Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Computer Program Learns Language Rules And Composes Sentences, All Without Outside Help

Date:
September 1, 2005
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
Shimon Edelman of Cornell University and colleagues have developed a method for enabling a computer program to scan text, infer the grammar behind it and generate new sentences. It works for different languages, music and protein sequences. (PNAS: Vol. 102:33, 2005)

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Cornell University and Tel Aviv Universityresearchers have developed a method for enabling a computer program toscan text in any of a number of languages, including English andChinese, and autonomously and without previous information infer theunderlying rules of grammar. The rules can then be used to generate newand meaningful sentences. The method also works for such data as sheetmusic or protein sequences.

Related Articles


The development -- which has a patentpending -- has implications for speech recognition and for otherapplications in natural language engineering, as well as for genomicsand proteomics. It also offers new insights into language acquisitionand psycholinguistics.

"The algorithm -- the computational method-- for language learning and processing that we have developed can takea body of text, abstract from it a collection of recurring patterns orrules and then generate new material," explained Shimon Edelman, acomputer scientist who is a professor of psychology at Cornell andco-author of a new paper, "Unsupervised Learning of Natural Languages,"published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS,Vol. 102, No. 33).

"This is the first time an unsupervisedalgorithm is shown capable of learning complex syntax, generatinggrammatical new sentences and proving useful in other fields that callfor structure discovery from raw data, such as bioinformatics," he said.

Unlikeprevious attempts at developing computer algorithms for languagelearning, the new method, called Automatic Distillation of Structure(ADIOS), successfully identifies complex patterns in raw texts. Thealgorithm discovers the patterns by repeatedly aligning sentences andlooking for overlapping parts.

For example, the sentences I wouldlike to book a first-class flight to Chicago, I want to book afirst-class flight to Boston and Book a first-class flight for me,please may give rise to the pattern book a first-class flight -- ifthis candidate pattern passes the novel statistical significance testthat is the core of the algorithm.

If the system also encountersthe sentences I need to book a direct flight from New York to Tel AvivandI would like to book an economy flight , it may infer that thephrases first-class, direct and economy are equivalent in the contextof the new pattern. "Because such equivalence sets can contain otherpatterns -- in turn containing further patterns, and so on -- theresulting body of knowledge grows recursively, as a sort of forest ofbranching trees of possibilities," said Edelman.

He added, "ADIOSrelies on a statistical method for pattern extraction and on structuredgeneralization -- two processes that have been implicated in languageacquisition. Our experiments show that it can acquire intricatestructures from raw data, including transcripts of parents' speechdirected at 2- or 3-year-olds. This may eventually help researchersunderstand how children, who learn language in a similar item-by-itemfashion and with very little supervision, eventually master the fullcomplexities of their native tongue."

In addition tochild-directed language, the algorithm has been tested on the full textof the Bible in several languages, on artificial context-free languageswith thousands of rules and on musical notation. It also has beenapplied to biological data, such as nucleotide base pairs and aminoacid sequences. In analyzing proteins, for example, the algorithm wasable to extract from amino acid sequences patterns that were highlycorrelated with the functional properties of the proteins.

Thenew method was developed jointly with David Horn and Eytan Ruppin,professors of physics and computer science, respectively, at Tel AvivUniversity, and with Zach Solan, a doctoral student there and the leadauthor on the paper. Their collaboration with Edelman was supported inpart by the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cornell University. "Computer Program Learns Language Rules And Composes Sentences, All Without Outside Help." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 September 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050901072808.htm>.
Cornell University. (2005, September 1). Computer Program Learns Language Rules And Composes Sentences, All Without Outside Help. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050901072808.htm
Cornell University. "Computer Program Learns Language Rules And Composes Sentences, All Without Outside Help." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050901072808.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Newsweek's Tech Sexism Story: More Than Just A Cover

Newsweek's Tech Sexism Story: More Than Just A Cover

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) Some objected to the art for Newsweek&apos;s cover story "What Silicon Valley Thinks of Women," but it&apos;s achieved one mission: getting people talking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Now Bill Gates Is 'Concerned' About Artificial Intelligence

Now Bill Gates Is 'Concerned' About Artificial Intelligence

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) Bill Gates joins the list of tech moguls scared of super-intelligent machines. He says more people should be concerned, but why? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook Rides Video, Mobile Waves To A Huge Quarter

Facebook Rides Video, Mobile Waves To A Huge Quarter

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) Mobile advertising now accounts for almost three quarters of Facebook’s total ad revenue. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
ISPs Angry After FCC Raises Requirement For Broadband Speed

ISPs Angry After FCC Raises Requirement For Broadband Speed

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) In a move to increase competition, the Federal Communications Commission upped the speed necessary for an Internet service to be considered broadband. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins