Variational Inference for Grammar Induction with Prior Knowledge

S. B. Cohen, N. A. Smith

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


Variational EM has become a popular technique in probabilistic NLP with hidden variables. Commonly, for computational tractability, we make strong independence assumptions, such as the mean-field assumption, in approximating posterior distributions over hidden variables. We show how a looser restriction on the approximate posterior, requiring it to be a mixture, can help inject prior knowledge to exploit soft constraints during the variational E-step.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of ACL
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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