Dependency Parsing for Spoken Dialog Systems Artificial Intelligence

Compared to constituency parsing and semantic role labeling, dependency parsing provides more clear relationships between predicates and arguments (Johansson and Nugues, 2008). Constituency parsers provide information about noun phrases in a sentence, but provide only limited information about relationships within a noun phrase. For example, in the sentence "What do you think about Google's privacy policy being reviewed by journalists from CNN?," a constituency parser would place "Google's privacy policy being reviewed by journalists from CNN" under a single phrasal node. Similarly, a semantic role labeling system would tend to label the same phrase as an argument of the verb, but it would not disambiguate the relationships within the phrase. Finally, NER only provides information about named entities which may or may not be the key semantic content of the sentence. Dependency parsers, by contrast, can provide information about relationships when a sentence contains multiple entities, even when those entities are within the same phrase. Identifying relationships between entities in a user utterance can help a dialog system formulate a more appropriate response. For instance, in the sentence about "Google's privacy policy" mentioned above, there are multiple entities for the system to consider. The system must determine the most important entity in the utterance in order to model the topic and generate an appropriate response.

Core Dependency Networks

AAAI Conferences

Many applications infer the structure of a probabilistic graphical model from data to elucidate the relationships between variables. But how can we train graphical models on a massive data set? In this paper, we show how to construct coresets---compressed data sets which can be used as proxy for the original data and have provably bounded worst case error---for Gaussian dependency networks (DNs), i.e., cyclic directed graphical models over Gaussians, where the parents of each variable are its Markov blanket. Specifically, we prove that Gaussian DNs admit coresets of size independent of the size of the data set. Unfortunately, this does not extend to DNs over members of the exponential family in general. As we will prove, Poisson DNs do not admit small coresets. Despite this worst-case result, we will provide an argument why our coreset construction for DNs can still work well in practice on count data.To corroborate our theoretical results, we empirically evaluated the resulting Core DNs on real data sets. The results demonstrate significant gains over no or naive sub-sampling, even in the case of count data.

Efficient Dependency-Guided Named Entity Recognition

AAAI Conferences

Named entity recognition (NER), which focuses on the extraction of semantically meaningful named entities and their semantic classes from text, serves as an indispensable component for several down-stream natural language processing (NLP) tasks such as relation extraction and event extraction. Dependency trees, on the other hand, also convey crucial semantic-level information. It has been shown previously that such information can be used to improve the performance of NER. In this work, we investigate on how to better utilize the structured information conveyed by dependency trees to improve the performance of NER. Specifically, unlike existing approaches which only exploit dependency information for designing local features, we show that certain global structured information of the dependency trees can be exploited when building NER models where such information can provide guided learning and inference. Through extensive experiments, we show that our proposed novel dependency-guided NER model performs competitively with models based on conventional semi-Markov conditional random fields, while requiring significantly less running time.

Strategy Mining

AAAI Conferences

Strategy mining is a new area of research about discovering strategies for decision-making. It is motivated by how similarity is assessed in retrospect in law. In the legal domain, when both case facts and court decisions are present, it is often useful to assess similarity by accounting for both case facts and case outcomes. In this paper, we formulate the strategy mining problem as a clustering problem with the goal of finding clusters that represent disparate conditional dependency of decision labels on other features. Existing clustering algorithms are inappropriate to cluster dependency because they either assume feature independence, such as K-means, or only consider the co-occurrence of features without explicitly modeling the special dependency of the decision label on other features, such as Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA). We propose an Expectation Maximization (EM) style unsupervised learning algorithm for dependency clustering. Like EM, our algorithm is grounded in statistical learning theory. It minimizes the empirical risk of decision tree learning. Unlike other clustering algorithms, our algorithm is irrelevant-feature resistant, and its learned clusters modeled by decision trees are strongly interpretable and predictive. We systematically evaluate both the convergence property and solution quality of our algorithm using a common law dataset comprised of actual cases. Experimental results show that our algorithm significantly outperforms K-means and LDA on clustering dependency

Embedded-State Latent Conditional Random Fields for Sequence Labeling Machine Learning

Complex textual information extraction tasks are often posed as sequence labeling or \emph{shallow parsing}, where fields are extracted using local labels made consistent through probabilistic inference in a graphical model with constrained transitions. Recently, it has become common to locally parametrize these models using rich features extracted by recurrent neural networks (such as LSTM), while enforcing consistent outputs through a simple linear-chain model, representing Markovian dependencies between successive labels. However, the simple graphical model structure belies the often complex non-local constraints between output labels. For example, many fields, such as a first name, can only occur a fixed number of times, or in the presence of other fields. While RNNs have provided increasingly powerful context-aware local features for sequence tagging, they have yet to be integrated with a global graphical model of similar expressivity in the output distribution. Our model goes beyond the linear chain CRF to incorporate multiple hidden states per output label, but parametrizes their transitions parsimoniously with low-rank log-potential scoring matrices, effectively learning an embedding space for hidden states. This augmented latent space of inference variables complements the rich feature representation of the RNN, and allows exact global inference obeying complex, learned non-local output constraints. We experiment with several datasets and show that the model outperforms baseline CRF+RNN models when global output constraints are necessary at inference-time, and explore the interpretable latent structure.