# Low-Rank Approximation of Weighted Tree Automata

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Guillaume Rabusseau,
Borja Balle,
Shay Cohen
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Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, PMLR 51:839-847, 2016.

#### Abstract

We describe a technique to minimize weighted tree automata (WTA), a powerful formalisms that subsumes probabilistic context-free grammars (PCFGs) and latent-variable PCFGs. Our method relies on a singular value decomposition of the underlying Hankel matrix defined by the WTA. Our main theoretical result is an efficient algorithm for computing the SVD of an infinite Hankel matrix implicitly represented as a WTA. We evaluate our method on real-world data originating in newswire treebank. We show that the model achieves lower perplexity than previous methods for PCFG minimization, and also is much more stable due to the absence of local optima.

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