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A Tightly-coupled Unsupervised Clustering and Bilingual Alignment Model for Transliteration

Tingting Li, Tiejun Zhao, Andrew Finch and Chunyue Zhang

The 51st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics - Short Papers (ACL Short Papers 2013)
Sofia, Bulgaria, August 4-9, 2013


Machine Transliteration is an essential task for many NLP applications. However, names and loan words typically originate from various languages, obey different transliteration rules, and therefore may benefit from being modeled independently. Recently, transliteration models based on Bayesian learning have overcome issues with over-fitting allowing for many-to-many alignment in the training of transliteration models. We propose a novel coupled Dirichlet process mixture model (cDPMM) that simultaneously clusters and bilingually aligns transliteration data within a single unified model. The unified model decomposes into two classes of non-parametric Bayesian component models: a Dirichlet process mixture model for clustering, and a set of multinomial Dirichlet process models that perform bilingual alignment independently for each cluster. The experimental results show that our method considerably outperforms conventional alignment models.

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