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The impact of standardized terminologies and domain-ontologies in multilingual information processing



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  • 1. The impact of standardized-terminologies and domain-ontologies in multilingual information processing Maruf Hasan, D.Eng. Senior Researcher Thai Computational Linguistics Laboratory, Thailand National Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Japan
  • 2. Outline
    • Natural Language Processing (NLP) Research
      • Cross Language Information Retrieval
      • Named Entity Extraction
    • Integrated Knowledge Management Scenario
    • Terminology and Ontology Initiatives
    • The Future: Bootstrapping
    • NiCT resources and technologies
    • Conclusions
  • 3. NLP Research
    • Corpus-based Statistical NLP became a popular research theme in recent years
      • many smart applications exist (e.g., Google search engine, MS Word’s Grammar Checking, etc.)
      • semantics and knowledge still remain obscured behind words (symbols)
      • meaning, concepts are difficult to extract/build with statistics alone  Bootstrapping helps
  • 4. New Research Trends
    • While relying heavily on sophisticated NLP techniques, researchers are paying increasing attention to take advantage of semi-automatically built Lexical and Knowledge resources
    • Outcomes
      • Increasing number of monolingual lexical resources
      • Increasing number of multilingual dictionaries, thesauri, and generalized ontologies
      • Increasing number of specialized ontologies
      • Increasing number of bootstrapping approaches to get the best from both ends
        • augmenting statistically extracted knowledge with the manually encoded one, and vice versa.
  • 5. Two perspectives of Information/Knowledge
    • Content Management Perspective
      • Metadata (e.g., Dublin Core Metadata, 13 fields )
      • Taxonomy/thesauri (augmenting the Keyword field)
        • Analogy: HTML (Fixed set of tags)
    • Content Harnessing Perspective
      • Machine understandable content
      • Conceptual and associative hierarchy based on content
      • Ontology (Modeling a domain with concepts and their relationships from domain-expert’s perspective)
        • Analogy: XML (Tags are not fixed)
  • 6. Interoperability
    • XML technology revolutionized the computing industry in terms of data interoperability and exchange
    • Ontology has started bringing new dimensions in modeling information and knowledge in the same way
      • Traditional dictionaries and thesauri suffered badly from interoperability problems
      • Ontology offers a flexible framework for Knowledge Modeling (similar to that of XML in Data manipulation)
  • 7. Bootstrapping: How It Helps
    • Two major pitfalls with ontology
      • Developing ontologies (expensive! requires Knowledge Engineers)
      • Populating ontologies (labor intensive! Semi-automatic means exist)
    • Bootstrapping: a simple example
      • X is identified as a Person in the ontology but Y is not
      • Analyzing a piece of text with NLP tools, we found the evidence that X and Y are conducting research in an organization for some projects , for example.
      • It is easy to infer that Y is a person (and, also her affiliation, research interests, etc. through similar analysis)
        • NLP techniques helps in semi-automatically populating an ontology
      • NLP tools and algorithms can be further augmented with the help of the ontology-driven knowledge
        • What if we do not find any such evidence that X is also a family-friend of Y ? How can we possibly deal with such cases?
        •  I will show an example later
  • 8. Human factors: Why MT fails but IR wins
    • So far, Information Retrieval (IR) applications including Search Engines, such as Google, have been largely successful but Machine Translation (MT) systems are not so successful.
      • Reasons include
        • Failures in modeling linguistic and extra-linguistic phenomena, context and concepts, etc.
        • Human tolerance in finding information and in translation quality varies
          • Human tolerance: [ (low) Written  Audio  Video (high)]
    • Case-Study: Telstra Voice-operated Directory Service – a failure from user’s perspective but a successful investment from Telstra’s point of view
        • Many queries (70%) are repeating and the system can handle them quickly (success from Telstra’s perspective). But when a user enquires about rare entities, the system fails (failure from user’s perspective).
  • 9. Cross-Language Information Retrieval
    • Cross-language Information Retrieval is crucial
      • Why : Querying with native language is comfortable, but every now and then, the most valuable information related to our search is probably available in another language
      • How : Translating the queries or the document-collection (using a simplified MT model) to find information in other languages
      • Economic Factor : Finding relevant information at a low cost ( using noisy translation ) is possible. And, after receiving a list of documents ( and selecting the relevant ones - as we often do with Google ), we can take the ( costly ) decision of whether or not to translate the information.
        • That is, even if someone’s foreign language level is not so competitive, we can still make sense of information from other cues (tables, graphs, etc.) and take the right decision.
  • 10. Cross-Language Information Retrieval (2)
    • Multilingual dictionaries or simplistic MT models are typically used
    • Although noisy to some extent, language pair, such as Chinese and Japanese can take advantage of Hanzi- (Kanji-) semantics
      • also applicable for alphabetic languages if we map words with their root forms
    • Further enhancement, for example, Latent Semantic Indexing (or other conceptual retrieval techniques help in mapping symbolic words to abstract concepts
    • Statistically built dictionaries (based on statistical correlation) also proved effective in CLIR
    • CLIR Demo
      • In CLIR, the best effect can be achieved, if a user is guided through a correlation dictionary (statistically created) and an ontology (manually crafted).
        • Associative relationships are better captured by statistical correlation
        • Hierarchical relationships are better captured in ontologies or KBs
  • 11. Searching Idiosyncrasies (pseudo CLIR)
    • Experiment with Kanji Semantics
      • Searching “ 大学 ” on Google
        • 大学 site : cn
        • 大学 site : jp
          • The word, 大学 has the same meaning in both Japanese and Chinese
    • Experiment with different server
      • Searching “ DNA ” on different Google local sites
          • The retrieved results are quite different
    • When it comes to information, we prefer to harness it in an integrated fashion .
        • Communication and connectivity are no longer barriers but languages are!
  • 12. Dilemma in Named-Entity Extraction
    • Named Entities play an important role in harnessing information
    • Significant research efforts have been channeled to automatic Named Entity Extraction - using simple heuristics as well as sophisticated machine learning algorithms.
    • For some reasons, the task remained restricted
      • Organization, Person, Location, Date, Time, Money, Percent
    • In specific domains such as Bio- or Agro- informatics, the notion of named-entities is broader (and different from the above, of course)
      • Domain specific entities are important. With carefully designed tools (using NLP techniques), it is possible to identify domain-specific entities
      • Event extraction is more difficult but crucial in harnessing information
  • 13. Integrated Knowledge Management
    • In an optimal scenario, we need to elicit knowledge from 3 different sources and manage it in an integrated fashion
      • Knowledge extracted from symbolic systems (written text, utterance, etc.) – relatively explicit but not so precise!
      • More precise knowledge encoded in ontologies and KBs (semi-automatic) – converted from implicit towards explicit forms!
      • Expert’s tacit knowledge – possible to capture in a system if the experts cooperate.
    • Ontology-based knowledge representation is the most appropriate representation so far – because it is understood by both human and machine equally
    • Ontologies, if not maintained regularly can be outdated soon.
    • There are certain other pitfalls which can be circumvented through sophisticated NLP techniques, bootstrapping and indexing scheme.  see examples in the following slides
  • 14. An Integrated KM Scenario
    • An “ academic ontology ” about people, project, organisations, project-reports, etc. within an organization (precise knowledge: ontologies are populated semi-automatically, sometimes from databases)
    • A set of sophisticated “ NLP Tools ” for Tokenizing, Parsing, Text Classifications, etc. (non-precise knowledge: Extracted from text automatically)
    • A group of users/experts who are inspired to make things better (Tacit Knowledge) by giving feedback.
    • A Spreading Activation based indexing scheme is used to capture and propagate changes in a bootstrapped fashion
      • c.f., Hasan, M.M. (2004). Spreading Activation Framework for Ontology-enhanced Effective Information Access within Organisations, In van Elst, L. et al. eds.: "Agent-Mediated Knowledge Management". Springer’s Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 2926. pp. 288-296. Also published in the proceedings of AAAI Spring Symposium, AMKM-2003, USA.
  • 15. Heterogeneous Sources of Knowledge
  • 16. But, Integrated Manipulation
    • Underneath, there is a spreading activation based indexing structure which changes over time
    • Expert’s feedback is also captured and propagated into the network
    • Commercial systems are developed using similar technique (e.g., TeSSI ® from L&C Global in pharmaceutical domain using a multilingual pharmaceutical ontology (developed under EU initiative)
  • 17. Lexical and Ontological Resources
    • China : HowNet (similar to WordNet with broader conceptual coverage
    • Japan : EDR Dictionary - A set of dictionaries including bilingual E-J dictionaries, Dictionary of Technical Terms and concept; NTT Goi Taikei , etc
    • Korea : KORTERM initiative
    • Thai : TCL’s Computational Lexicon
  • 18. Lexical and Ontological Resources (2)
    • GENIA Annotated Corpus and GENIA Ontology from University of Tokyo for Bioinformatics research based on Medline Abstract
      • Multilingual specialized ontologies are still rare but likely to appear
    • Similar resources in Agricultural domain including AGROVOC thesaurus, and related ontologies and resources (corpora)
      • FAO’s Bio-Safety Ontology:
        • Frequent verbs (Free Text Corpus)  Arguments (NPs)  KAON concepts  Domain Experts
      • a bootstrapping approach of creating ontology
  • 19. NiCT Language Resources
    • EDR Lexicons
      • NiCT acquired all copyright of the EDR electronic dictionary in 2002 and able to distribute them for a nominal handling fee.
      • Word Dictionaries
        • Japanese Word Dictionary (260,000)
        • English Word Dictionary (190,000)
      • Bilingual Dictionaries
        • Jpn.-Eng. Bilingual Dictionary (240,000)
        • Eng.-Jpn. Bilingual Dictionary (160,000)
      • Concept Dictionary (410,000)
      • Co-occurrence Dictionary
        • Japanese Co-occurrence Dictionary (930,000)
          • 20,000 Japanese example sentences
        • English Co-occurrence Dictionary (460,000)
          • 12,000 English example sentences
      • Technical Terminology Dictionary
        • (110,000 Japanese & 70,000 English entries)
  • 20. NiCT Language Resources (2)
    • Multilingual Annotated Corpus
      • 40,000 Japanese sentences from Mainichi Newspaper (i.e., Kyoto University Corpus)
      • Morphologically and syntactically annotated
      • English translation (manually translated); Phrase alignment done
        • Syntactic annotation (based on Penn Treebank)
        • 10,000 sentences will be translated and aligned in the phrase level in April 2004 (tentative)
      • Chinese translation (manually translated)
        • 10,000 sentences are already translated
    • And, many other tools and linguistic resources
      • Project Gutenberg Corpus (English-Japanese Bilingual Sentence Aligned corpus)
      • SST Learner Corpora (with error annotation)
  • 21. Conclusions
    • In this new era of ubiquitous connectivity, Integrated processing of information is a necessity .
      • Language ( not physical communication/bandwidth) remains to be the strongest barrier.
    • Multilingual resources (dictionaries, thesauri, corpora) are either rare or incomplete
      • AGROVOC still doesn’t cover many languages (including Japanese)
    • Effective processing of multilingual information needs concerted effort in resource building and standardization
      • Specially in terminology and interoperable ontology standards
    • Multilingual resources along with effective bootstrapping strategy will help us overcoming the difficulties in NLP and multilingual information processing
      • With the resources and technologies we have at NiCT, it could be worthy to try extending AGROVOC and related ontology to cover Japanese
        • AGROTERM from AFFRC-Japan contains 57,000 agricultural terms extracted from a corpus using NLP tools.
        • Aligning AGROTERM or other similar resources with AGROVOC semi-automatically is a useful challenge.