- A Testsuite for Testing Parser Performance onComplex German Grammatical Constructions (2009)
- Traditionally, parsers are evaluated against gold standard test data. This can cause problems if there is a mismatch between the data structures and representations used by the parser and the gold standard. A particular case in point is German, for which two treebanks (TiGer and TüBa-D/Z) are available with highly different annotation schemes for the acquisition of (e.g.) PCFG parsers. The differences between the TiGer and TüBa-D/Z annotation schemes make fair and unbiased parser evaluation difficult [7, 9, 12]. The resource (TEPACOC) presented in this paper takes a different approach to parser evaluation: instead of providing evaluation data in a single annotation scheme, TEPACOC uses comparable sentences and their annotations for 5 selected key grammatical phenomena (with 20 sentences each per phenomena) from both TiGer and TüBa-D/Z resources. This provides a 2 times 100 sentence comparable testsuite which allows us to evaluate TiGer-trained parsers against the TiGer part of TEPACOC, and TüBa-D/Z-trained parsers against the TüBa-D/Z part of TEPACOC for key phenomena, instead of comparing them against a single (and potentially biased) gold standard. To overcome the problem of inconsistency in human evaluation and to bridge the gap between the two different annotation schemes, we provide an extensive error classification, which enables us to compare parser output across the two different treebanks. In the remaining part of the paper we present the testsuite and describe the grammatical phenomena covered in the data. We discuss the different annotation strategies used in the two treebanks to encode these phenomena and present our error classification of potential parser errors.
- Treebank-based grammar acquisition for German (2009)
- Manual development of deep linguistic resources is time-consuming and costly and therefore often described as a bottleneck for traditional rule-based NLP. In my PhD thesis I present a treebank-based method for the automatic acquisition of LFG resources for German. The method automatically creates deep and rich linguistic presentations from labelled data (treebanks) and can be applied to large data sets. My research is based on and substantially extends previous work on automatically acquiring wide-coverage, deep, constraint-based grammatical resources from the English Penn-II treebank (Cahill et al.,2002; Burke et al., 2004; Cahill, 2004). Best results for English show a dependency f-score of 82.73% (Cahill et al., 2008) against the PARC 700 dependency bank, outperforming the best hand-crafted grammar of Kaplan et al. (2004). Preliminary work has been carried out to test the approach on languages other than English, providing proof of concept for the applicability of the method (Cahill et al., 2003; Cahill, 2004; Cahill et al., 2005). While first results have been promising, a number of important research questions have been raised. The original approach presented first in Cahill et al. (2002) is strongly tailored to English and the datastructures provided by the Penn-II treebank (Marcus et al., 1993). English is configurational and rather poor in inflectional forms. German, by contrast, features semi-free word order and a much richer morphology. Furthermore, treebanks for German differ considerably from the Penn-II treebank as regards data structures and encoding schemes underlying the grammar acquisition task. In my thesis I examine the impact of language-specific properties of German as well as linguistically motivated treebank design decisions on PCFG parsing and LFG grammar acquisition. I present experiments investigating the influence of treebank design on PCFG parsing and show which type of representations are useful for the PCFG and LFG grammar acquisition tasks. Furthermore, I present a novel approach to cross-treebank comparison, measuring the effect of controlled error insertion on treebank trees and parser output from different treebanks. I complement the cross-treebank comparison by providing a human evaluation using TePaCoC, a new testsuite for testing parser performance on complex grammatical constructions. Manual evaluation on TePaCoC data provides new insights on the impact of flat vs. hierarchical annotation schemes on data-driven parsing. I present treebank-based LFG acquisition methodologies for two German treebanks. An extensive evaluation along different dimensions complements the investigation and provides valuable insights for the future development of treebanks.
- How to compare treebanks (2008)
- Recent years have seen an increasing interest in developing standards for linguistic annotation, with a focus on the interoperability of the resources. This effort, however, requires a profound knowledge of the advantages and disadvantages of linguistic annotation schemes in order to avoid importing the flaws and weaknesses of existing encoding schemes into the new standards. This paper addresses the question how to compare syntactically annotated corpora and gain insights into the usefulness of specific design decisions. We present an exhaustive evaluation of two German treebanks with crucially different encoding schemes. We evaluate three different parsers trained on the two treebanks and compare results using EVALB, the Leaf-Ancestor metric, and a dependency-based evaluation. Furthermore, we present TePaCoC, a new testsuite for the evaluation of parsers on complex German grammatical constructions. The testsuite provides a well thought-out error classification, which enables us to compare parser output for parsers trained on treebanks with different encoding schemes and provides interesting insights into the impact of treebank annotation schemes on specific constructions like PP attachment or non-constituent coordination.