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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Informatics : Informatics

Undergraduate Course: Foundations of Natural Language Processing (INFR09028)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Informatics CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) Credits10
Home subject areaInformatics Other subject areaNone
Course website Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course covers some of the linguistic and algorithmic foundations of natural language processing. It builds on the material introduced in Informatics 2A and aims to equip students for more advanced NLP courses in years 3 or 4. The course is strongly empirical, using corpus data to illustrate both core linguistic concepts and algorithms, including language modeling, part of speech tagging, syntactic processing, the syntax-semantics interface, and aspects of semantic processing. Linguistic and algorithmic content will be interleaved throughout the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Informatics 2A - Processing Formal and Natural Languages (INFR08008) OR Informatics Research Review (INFR11034)
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Advanced Natural Language Processing (INFR11059)
Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2011/12 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) WebCT enabled:  No Quota:  None
Location Activity Description Weeks Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
CentralLecture1-11 10:00 - 10:50
CentralLecture1-11 10:00 - 10:50
First Class Week 1, Tuesday, 10:00 - 10:50, Zone: Central. DHT LTC
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours:Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
1 - Given an appropriate NLP problem, students should be able to select a corpus and an annotation scheme for the problem and justify the choice over other candidates.
2 - Students should also be able to identify suitable evaluation measures for the problem and provide a written explanation of the role of annotated corpora in natural language processing.
3 - Given one of the main linguistic issues relevant to NLP (including the representation and induction of syntactic knowledge, and the modelling of lexical and semantic information, and the syntax-semantics interface), students should be able to construct an example of the issue and provide an explanation of how their example illustrates the issue in general.
4 - Given an example of one of the main linguistic issues identified above, students should be able to classify it as belonging to that issue and relate the example to the issue in general.
5 - Given an NLP problem, students should be able to analyse, assess and justify which algorithms are most appropriate for solving the problem, based on an understanding of fundamental algorithms such as Viterbi algorithm, inside-outside, chart-based parsing and generation.
Assessment Information
Written Examination 70
Assessed Assignments 30
Oral Presentations 0

Two assignments involving both programming and short essays.

If delivered in semester 1, this course will have an option for semester 1 only visiting undergraduate students, providing assessment prior to the end of the calendar year.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus 1. Creating annotated corpora:
* markup, annotation
* evaluation measures
* corpora and the web

2. Lexicon and lexical processing:
* language modeling
* Hidden Markov Models
* part of speech tagging (e.g., for a language other than English) to illustrate HMMs
* Viterbi algorithm
* smoothing

3. Syntax and syntactic processing:
* revision of context-free grammars and chart parsing
* syntactic concepts: constituency, subcategorization, bounded and unbounded dependencies, feature representations
* lexicalized grammar formalisms (e.g., TAG, CCG, dependency grammar)
* treebanks: lexicalized grammars and corpus annotation

4. Semantics and semantic processing:
* compositionality
* argument structure
* word sense disambigution
* anaphora resolution
* treebanks: argument structure, WSD (e.g., Propbank, Semcor)

Relevant QAA Computing Curriculum Sections: Not yet available
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Jurafsky and Martin, Speech and Language Processing, 2nd edition, 2008.
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Lectures 20
Tutorials 8
Timetabled Laboratories 0
Non-timetabled assessed assignments 30
Private Study/Other 42
Total 100
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Nigel Goddard
Tel: (0131 6)51 3091
Course secretaryMiss Tamise Totterdell
Tel: 0131 650 9970
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