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# The Generalized Smallest Grammar Problem

*Proceedings of The 13th International Conference on Grammatical Inference*, PMLR 57:79-92, 2017.

#### Abstract

The Smallest Grammar Problem – the problem of finding the smallest context-free grammar that generates exactly one given sequence – has never been successfully applied to grammatical inference. We investigate the reasons and propose an extended formulation that seeks to minimize non-recursive grammars, instead of straight-line programs. In addition, we provide very efficient algorithms that approximate the minimization problem of this class of grammars. Our empirical evaluation shows that we are able to find smaller models than the current best approximations to the Smallest Grammar Problem on standard benchmarks, and that the inferred rules capture much better the syntactic structure of natural language.