Colloquium Details

Holistic Language Processing: Joint Models of Linguistic Structure

Speaker: Jenny Finkel, Stanford University

Location: Warren Weaver Hall 1302

Date: February 26, 2010, 11:30 a.m.

Host: Richard Cole


The natural language processing (NLP) applications which ultimately affect people's daily lives are high level, semantically-oriented ones: question answering, machine translation, machine reading, speech interfaces for robots and machines, and others that we haven't even thought of yet. Humans are very good at these types of tasks, in part because they naturally employ holistic language processing. They effortlessly keep track of many layers of low-level information, while simultaneously integrating in long distance information from elsewhere in the conversation or document. In contrast, much NLP research focuses on lower-level tasks, like parsing, named entity recognition, and part-of-speech tagging. Moreover, for the sake of efficiency, researchers modeling these phenomena make extremely strong independence assumptions, which completely decouple these tasks, and only look at local context when making decisions. This talk will cover multiple aspects of holistic language processing, and describe systems for joint parsing and named entity recognition; named entity recognition which incorporates long-distance information; and multi-task learning over multiple domains, and over multiple datasets with varying amounts of annotated information. These systems are designed to produce analyses which are more consistent, of higher quality, and generally more useful for doing the kinds of tasks that non-researchers actually care about.

Speaker Bio:

Jenny Rose Finkel is a final year PhD student in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University. She received a BS in Computer Science from Columbia University in 2002. She is a member of the Artificial Intelligence Lab and the Natural Language Processing Group. Her research interests include machine learning, probabilistic graphical models, and their applications to human language processing. She has been the recipient of a Stanford School of Engineering Fellowship and a Stanford Graduate Fellowship. During her time at Stanford she has published sixteen scientific papers in peer-reviewed workshops, conference proceedings, and journals. Her non-academic interests include knitting, cooking, backpacking and bike touring.


Refreshments will be offered starting 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the talk.

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