Abstract

Word alignment plays an important role in many NLP tasks as it indicates the correspondence between words in a parallel text. Although widely used to align large bilingual corpora, generative models are hard to extend to incorporate arbitrary useful linguistic information. This article presents a discriminative framework for word alignment based on a linear model. Within this framework, all knowledge sources are treated as feature functions, which depend on a source language sentence, a target language sentence, and the alignment between them. We describe a number of features that could produce symmetric alignments. Our model is easy to extend and can be optimized with respect to evaluation metrics directly. The model achieves state-of-the-art alignment quality on three word alignment shared tasks for five language pairs with varying divergence and richness of resources. We further show that our approach improves translation performance for various statistical machine translation systems.

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