Evaluation of selection in context-free grammar learning systems

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Menno Zaanen, Nanne Noord ;
The 12th International Conference on Grammatical Inference, PMLR 34:193-206, 2014.

Abstract

Grammatical inference deals with learning of grammars describing languages. Formal grammatical inference aims at identifying families of languages that have a shared property, which can be used to prove efficient learnability of the families formally. In contrast, in empirical grammatical inference research, practical systems are developed that are applied to languages. The effectiveness of these systems is measured by comparing the learned grammar against a Gold standard which indicates the ground truth. From successful empirical learnability results, either shared properties may be identified, leading to further formal learnability results, or modifications to the systems may be made, improving practical results. Proper evaluation of empirical systems is, therefore, essential. Here, we evaluate and compare existing state-of-the-art context-free grammar learning systems (and novel systems based on combinations of existing phases) in a standardized evaluation environment (on a corpus of plain natural language sentences), illustrating future directions for empirical grammatical inference research.

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