Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

USC Researchers Build Machine Translation System -- and More -- For Hindi in Less Than a Month

02.07.2003


In less than a month, researchers at USC’s Information Sciences Institute and collaborators nationwide have built one of the world’s best systems to translate Hindi text into English and query Hindi databases using English questions.

This effort was part of the "Surprise Language" project, a test of the computer science community’s ability to create translation tools quickly for previously unresearched languages sponsored by the Defense Advance Research Project Agency (DARPA). The exercise ended July 1.

"A month ago, we didn’t even know what language we would be working on," explained Ulrich Germann, a computational linguist at ISI, which is part of the USC School of Engineering.



Then, at 10:55 p.m. PDT on June 1, the manager for DARPA’s TIDES (Translingual Information Detection, Extraction, and Summarization) program fired the starting gun with an email: "Surprise Language is Hindi.... Good luck!"

Teams at 11 different sites across the US and one in the UK jumped into action, and twenty-nine days later can present an impressive array of information processing tools for Hindi.

"We succeeded in all aspects of the exercise," said Douglas W. Oard, an associate professor at the University of Maryland who is currently spending a sabbatical year at ISI. "A month ago, we had no information retrieval for Hindi, no machine translation, no named entity identification, no question answering. Now we have all of that."

ISI’s researchers focused on four aspects of cross-lingual information processing: resource building, machine translation, summarization, and providing an efficient interface for the human to navigate the information space. Of these,"clearly, machine translation is the pivotal technology in this scenario," said Germann.

ISI research scientist Franz Josef Och, a leading specialist in machine translation, did much of this key task for ISI.

"Our approach uses statistical models to find the most likely translation for a given input," Och explained. "Instead of telling the computer how to translate, we let it figure it out by itself. First, we feed the system collection of parallel texts, material in the foreign language and their translations into English. The system tries to find the English sentence that is the most likely translation of the foreign input sentence, based on these statistical models."

Och’s Hindi system was one of four developed independently during the exercise. Trials scheduled for coming weeks will rate his against those developed at other sites.

Finding and creating parallel texts for Och and his colleagues to analyze was a major effort during the exercise, said Germann. While for most European languages, there are one or two predominant standardized ways of encoding them, e.g."Latin-1" or Unicode, Hindi has a wildly mixed potpourri of encodings.

"It’s ridiculous," said Germann, "almost every single Hindi language web site has its own encoding." Tools had to be made to convert all of these various systems to a single common one to present parallel texts to Och and other machine translation experts.

"Most of the conversion work was done by our partners at other participating sites, and it was absolutely critical to the success of the exercise," Germann said.

In addition to Och’s translation work, researchers applied search, summarization, and visualization tools developed at ISI to make Hindi texts more accessible to English language speakers. ISI researchers Anton Leuski and Chin-Yew Lin collaborated on a super-Google-like mutli-document search, summarization, adn translation system that allows users to enter search terms in English and generate results grouped by similarities found in the text, using refinements on a multi-document summarization technique developed by Lin.

Graduate student Liang Zhou developed a way to generate a headline for each group of similar stories found. Leuski’s unique Lighthouse visualization system displayed these results at spheres floating in groupings on the screen, with the most similar closest together.

The bottom line: a user can then view individual documents, or automatically generated summaries for whole groups of documents. Even though all documents were originally in Hindi, all the added value is available in English, thanks to the machine translation engine. In addition, references to locations in the documents are spotted (using a third-party tool, the BBN IdentiFinder) in the text and plotted on a map.

"It’s just wonderful to see so many of the technologies that we have developed at ISI come together and interact in such a useful way," said Eduard Hovy, head of ISI’s Natural Language Group.

Eric Mankin | USC
Further information:
http://www.usc.edu/isinews/stories/98.html

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht The Flexible Grid Involves its Users
27.09.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Optical fiber transmits one terabit per second – Novel modulation approach
16.09.2016 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-Ever 3D Printed Excavator Project Advances Large-Scale Additive Manufacturing R&D

Heavy construction machinery is the focus of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s latest advance in additive manufacturing research. With industry partners and university students, ORNL researchers are designing and producing the world’s first 3D printed excavator, a prototype that will leverage large-scale AM technologies and explore the feasibility of printing with metal alloys.

Increasing the size and speed of metal-based 3D printing techniques, using low-cost alloys like steel and aluminum, could create new industrial applications...

Im Focus: New welding process joins dissimilar sheets better

Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of light metals.
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart have now developed two new process variants that will considerably expand the areas of application for friction stir welding.
Technologie-Lizenz-Büro (TLB) GmbH supports the University of Stuttgart in patenting and marketing its innovations.

Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of...

Im Focus: First quantum photonic circuit with electrically driven light source

Optical quantum computers can revolutionize computer technology. A team of researchers led by scientists from Münster University and KIT now succeeded in putting a quantum optical experimental set-up onto a chip. In doing so, they have met one of the requirements for making it possible to use photonic circuits for optical quantum computers.

Optical quantum computers are what people are pinning their hopes on for tomorrow’s computer technology – whether for tap-proof data encryption, ultrafast...

Im Focus: OLED microdisplays in data glasses for improved human-machine interaction

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.

“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...

Im Focus: Artificial Intelligence Helps in the Discovery of New Materials

With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Paper – Panacea Green Infrastructure?

30.09.2016 | Event News

HLF: From an experiment to an establishment

29.09.2016 | Event News

European Health Forum Gastein 2016 kicks off today

28.09.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

First-Ever 3D Printed Excavator Project Advances Large-Scale Additive Manufacturing R&D

30.09.2016 | Materials Sciences

New Technique for Finding Weakness in Earth’s Crust

30.09.2016 | Earth Sciences

Cells migrate collectively by intermittent bursts of activity

30.09.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>