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Weighted Finite-state Automata

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact David Duvenaud.

A weighted finite-state automaton assigns weights to strings of discrete symbols. The formalism is a useful way of defining a probability distribution over strings of potentially unbounded length. By defining the automaton over two strings at the same time, probabilistic relations between two sequences (e.g. conditional distributions) can be defined. I will show how inference on this type of model works, and how its parameters can be learnt. Another use of the formalism that I hope to discuss is to define kernels between two strings.

Background material (I will not expect anyone to have read this):

Mehryar Mohri. Finite-State Transducers in Language and Speech Processing. Computational Linguistics, 23:2, 1997. http://www.cs.nyu.edu/mohri/postscript/cl1.ps

Jason Eisner. Parameter estimation for probabilistic finite-state transducers. Proceedings of the 40th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, 2002. http://www.cs.jhu.edu/jason/papers/eisner.acl02-fst.pdf

Corinna Cortes, Patrick Haffner, Mehryar Mohri. Rational Kernels: Theory and Algorithms. Journal of Machine Learning Research (JMLR), vol. 5, 2004. http://www.cs.nyu.edu/~mohri/postscript/jmlr.pdf

This talk is part of the Machine Learning Reading Group @ CUED series.

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