Publication
ACL 2016
Conference paper

Pointing the unknown words

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Abstract

The problem of rare and unknown words is an important issue that can potentially effect the performance of many NLP systems, including traditional count-based and deep learning models. We propose a novel way to deal with the rare and unseen words for the neural network models using attention. Our model uses two softmax layers in order to predict the next word in conditional language models: one predicts the location of a word in the source sentence, and the other predicts a word in the shortlist vocabulary. At each timestep, the decision of which softmax layer to use is adaptively made by an MLP which is conditioned on the context. We motivate this work from a psychological evidence that humans naturally have a tendency to point towards objects in the context or the environment when the name of an object is not known. Using our proposed model, we observe improvements on two tasks, neural machine translation on the Europarl English to French parallel corpora and text summarization on the Gigaword dataset.

Date

07 Aug 2016

Publication

ACL 2016

Authors

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