[Corpora-List] Internship at Idiap: verb tenses for SMT

Andrei Popescu-Belis andrei.popescu-belis at idiap.ch
Fri Feb 1 12:48:12 CET 2013

Internship at the Idiap Research Institute, Martigny, Switzerland

Learning verb tense translation from parallel corpora for statistical machine translation


Contact: Andrei Popescu-Belis


Applications are invited for a 6-month internship (preferably at the Master level) in the field of statistical machine translation (SMT).

At Idiap, we are studying methods for using text-level information to improve SMT, in the context of the Swiss COMTIS project (www.idiap.ch/comtis). In particular, we have successfully combined classifiers for discourse connectives with state-of-the-art SMT systems, showing an improvement on such particles. In collaborations with linguists, we currently analyze the features that govern the translation of verb tenses, mainly from English to French. The main challenge for MT is that there is no one-to-one mapping from English to French tenses, and the correct choice depends on the context.

The goal of the internship is to design and implement a method for predicting the translation of verb tenses, applied to English/French translation (or another European language). First, training data will be generated by the word alignment of annotated parallel corpora. Then, a classifier will be trained to predict tense translation based on lexical and semantic features. Its output will then be used to train and test a tense-aware SMT system, which will be evaluated in terms of BLEU improvement but also verb-specific scores (METEOR or ACT).

The applicants should have a background in computer science or linguistics. Knowledge of computational linguistics and machine learning would be an advantage. Previous experience with statistical machine translation would be highly appreciated. The applicants should have demonstrable programming skills in at least one scripting language such as Perl or Python, or master a programming language such as Java or C/C++. Good command of English and knowledge of another European language (preferably French) are mandatory.

The applications should be submitted before March 15, 2013, with priority given to those submitted earlier. The internship can start immediately, but no later than July 1st, 2013. The appointment is for 6 months, with a gross salary of 2000 CHF per month.

About Idiap

Idiap is an independent, non-profit research institute recognized and supported by the Swiss Government, and affiliated with the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). It is located in the town of Martigny in Valais, a scenic region in the south of Switzerland, surrounded by the highest mountains of Europe, and offering exciting recreational activities, including hiking, climbing and skiing, as well as varied cultural activities. It is within close proximity to Geneva and Lausanne. Although Idiap is located in the French part of Switzerland, English is the working language. Free French lessons are provided.

Idiap offers competitive salaries and conditions at all levels in a young, dynamic, and multicultural environment. Idiap is an equal opportunity employer and is actively involved in the "Advancement of Women in Science" European initiative. The Institute seeks to maintain a principle of open competition (on the basis of merit) to appoint the best candidate, provides equal opportunity for all candidates, and equally encourages both genders to apply.

APB -- Idiap Research Institute | tel: (41 27) 721 7729 Centre du Parc, CP 592 | fax: (41 27) 721 7712 CH-1920 Martigny | name.surname at idiap.ch Switzerland | www.idiap.ch/~apbelis

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