Treebanks gone bad: parser evaluation and retraining using a treebank of ungrammatical sentences
Foster, Jennifer (2007) Treebanks gone bad: parser evaluation and retraining using a treebank of ungrammatical sentences. International Journal of Document Analysis and Recognition (IJDAR), 10 (3-4). pp. 129-145. ISSN 1433-2833
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This article describes how a treebank of ungrammatical sentences can be created from a treebank of well-formed sentences. The treebank creation procedure involves the automatic introduction of frequently occurring grammatical errors into the sentences in an existing treebank, and the minimal transformation of the original analyses in the treebank so that they describe the newly created ill-formed sentences. Such a treebank can be used to test how well a parser is able to ignore grammatical errors in texts (as people do), and can be used to induce a grammar capable of analysing such sentences. This article demonstrates these two applications using the Penn Treebank. In a robustness evaluation experiment, two state-of-the-art statistical parsers are evaluated on an ungrammatical version of Sect. 23 of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) portion of the Penn treebank. This experiment shows that the performance of both parsers degrades with grammatical noise. A breakdown by error type is provided for both parsers. A second experiment retrains both parsers using an ungrammatical version of WSJ Sections 2–21. This experiment indicates that an ungrammatical treebank is a useful resource in improving parser robustness to grammatical errors, but that the correct combination of grammatical and ungrammatical training data has yet to be determined.
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