Parsing Spoken Language

  • Posted on: 16 May 2014
  • By: hadmin

Title: Parsing Spoken Language

Speaker: Professor Mari Ostendorf
                 University of Washington

Date: 5 April 2013
Time: 2:00pm – 3:30am 
Venue: Rm 513, William M. W. Mong Engineering Building, CUHK


Parsing is a core natural language processing technology, but most parsing work has been developed on written text. Spoken language poses challenges for systems trained on text due to the presence of disfluencies, recognizer errors, and differences in word choice and grammatical style. Parsing language models have been shown to be useful for improving speech transcription in terms of reducing word error rate, but parsing also has benefits that go beyond word error rate. In human-machine interaction, parsing benefits out-of-vocabulary word detection. For language processing applied to spoken documents, there are now several applications that show a benefit from explicitly parsing speech and using parsing as an objective. This talk provides examples of the impact that parsing can have on speech transcription and surveys applications that directly benefit from parsing speech. We also discuss ways in which parsers can be modified to be more effective with spoken language.

About the speaker:

Mari Ostendorf is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington. After receiving her PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University, she worked at BBN Laboratories, then Boston University, and then joined the University of Washington (UW) in 1999. At UW, she is an Endowed Professor of System Design Methodologies in Electrical Engineering and an Adjunct Professor in Computer Science and Engineering and in Linguistics. From 2010-2012, she served as the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Engineering. She has previously been a visiting researcher at the ATR Interpreting Telecommunications Laboratory and at the University of Karlsruhe, and a Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance Distinguished Visiting Fellow. Currently, she is an Australia-America Fulbright Scholar at Macquarie University. Prof. Ostendorf's research interests are in dynamic and linguistically-motivated statistical models for speech and language processing. Her work has resulted in over 200 publications and 2 paper awards. Prof. Ostendorf has served as co-Editor of Computer Speech and Language, as the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing, and she is currently the VP Publications for the IEEE Signal Processing Society. She is also a member of the ISCA Advisory Council. She is a Fellow of IEEE and ISCA, a recipient of the 2010 IEEE HP Harriett B. Rigas Award, and a 2013 IEEE Signal Processing Society Distinguished Lecturer.

Friday, April 5, 2013 - 14:00 to 15:30