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NAACL, San Diego


Wencan Luo and Fan Yang

An Empirical Study of Automatic Chinese Word Segmentation for Spoken Language Understanding and Named Entity Recognition


Word segmentation is usually recognized as the first step for many Chinese natural language processing tasks, yet its impact on these subsequent tasks is relatively under-studied. For example, how to solve the mismatch problem when applying an existing word segmenter to new data? Does a better word segmenter yield a better subsequent NLP task performance? In this work, we conduct an initial attempt to answer these questions on two related subsequent tasks: semantic slot filling in spoken language understanding and named entity recognition. We propose three techniques to solve the mismatch problem: using word segmentation outputs as additional features, adaptation with partial-learning and taking advantage of n-best word segmentation list. Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of these techniques for both tasks and we achieve an error reduction of about 11% for spoken language understanding and 24% for named entity recognition over the baseline systems.
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