On Real-Time Graph Transducers

Friday, November 10, 2017, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm PSTiCal
11th Flr Conf Room-CR #1135
This event is open to the public.
NL Seminar
Anssi Yli-Jyrä (Univ. Of Helsinki)

Abstract: Finite computers and universal computers. Often a practical solution combines both of these two extremes because formally powerful models are simulated by physical machines that approximate them. This is especially true for recurrent neural networks whose activation vector is the key to deeper understanding of their emergent finite-state behavior. However, we currently have only a very loose characterization for the finite-state property in neural networks. In order to construct a hypothesis for a possible bottom-up organization of the state-space of activation vectors of RNNs, I compare neural networks with bounded Turing machines and finite-state machines, and quote recent results on finite state models for semantic graphs. These models enjoy the nice closure properties of weighted finite-state machines. In the end of the talk, I sketch my vision for neural networks that perform finite-state graph transductions in real time. Such transductions would have a vast variety of applications in machine translation and semantic information retrieval involving big data.

Bio: Anssi Yli-Jyrä has the titles of Adjunct Professor (Docent) in Language Technology at the University of Helsinki and Life Member of Clare Hall College at the University of Cambridge. He is currently a PI and a Research Fellow of the Academy of Finland in a project concerning universality of finite-state syntax. He has published a handbook on Hebrew and Greek morpheme alignments in the Finnish Bible translation together with a group of Digital Humanists, and then served the Finnish Electronic Library at CSC - IT Centre of Science where he built an internet harvester and a search engine for the Finnish WWW. In 2005, he earned his PhD from the University of Helsinki and then worked as a coordinator for the Language Bank of Finland at CSC. There he contributed to pushing his employer to what is now known as the CLARIN European Research Infrastructure Consortium. He became the first President of SIGFSM in 2009, after fostering and organizing FSMNLP conferences for several years. In 2012-2013, he served as a Subject Head of Language Technology in his home university before visiting the Speech Group at the Department of Engineering, Cambridge University. He has supervised theses and contributed to the theoretical basis of Helsinki Finite-State Transducer (HFST) library. In his own research, Yli-Jyrä constantly pursues unexplored areas, applying finite-state transducers to graphical language processing tasks such as autosegmental phonology, constraint interaction, and dependency syntax and neural semantics. He is a qualified teacher and interested in the occurrence of flow in agile programming and simultaneous translation.

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