A Gibbs sampler for phrasal synchronous grammar induction

Phil Blunsom, Trevor Cohn, Chris Dyer, Miles Osborne

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We present a phrasal synchronous grammar model of translational equivalence. Unlike previous approaches, we do not resort to heuristics or constraints from a word-alignment model, but instead directly induce a synchronous grammar from parallel sentence-aligned corpora. We use a hierarchical Bayesian prior to bias towards compact grammars with small translation units. Inference is performed using a novel Gibbs sampler over synchronous derivations. This sampler side-steps the intractability issues of previous models which required inference over derivation forests. Instead each sampling iteration is highly efficient, allowing the model to be applied to larger translation corpora than previous approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Joint Conference of the 47th Annual Meeting of the ACL and the 4th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing of the AFNLP: Volume 2 - Volume 2
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Publication series

NameACL '09

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