Semi-supervised learning of statistical models for natural language understanding

Deyu Zhou, Yulan He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Natural language understanding is to specify a computational model that maps sentences to their semantic mean representation. In this paper, we propose a novel framework to train the statistical models without using expensive fully annotated data. In particular, the input of our framework is a set of sentences labeled with abstract semantic annotations. These annotations encode the underlying embedded semantic structural relations without explicit word/semantic tag alignment. The proposed framework can automatically induce derivation rules that map sentences to their semantic meaning representations. The learning framework is applied on two statistical models, the conditional random fields (CRFs) and the hidden Markov support vector machines (HM-SVMs). Our experimental results on the DARPA communicator data show that both CRFs and HM-SVMs outperform the baseline approach, previously proposed hidden vector state (HVS) model which is also trained on abstract semantic annotations. In addition, the proposed framework shows superior performance than two other baseline approaches, a hybrid framework combining HVS and HM-SVMs and discriminative training of HVS, with a relative error reduction rate of about 25% and 15% being achieved in F-measure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121650
Number of pages11
JournalScientific world journal
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2014

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2014 Deyu Zhou and Yulan He. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Funding: National Natural Science Foundation of China (61103077), Ph.D. Programs Foundation of Ministry of Education of China for Young Faculties (20100092120031), Scientific Research Foundation for the Returned Overseas Chinese Scholars, State Education Ministry, and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (the Cultivation Program for Young Faculties of Southeast University).


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