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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Informatics : Informatics

Postgraduate Course: Machine Translation (Level 11) (INFR11062)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Informatics CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryGoogle translate can instantly translates between any pair of over one hundred human languages like French and English. It and other translation systems translate by reading millions of words of already translated text and learning statistical models to translation new text. This course will show you how they work, and what work is still to be done. It focuses on the use of fundamental ideas from algorithms, machine learning, and linguistics, showing how they apply to a real and difficult problem in artificial intelligence.
(This course replaces the previous 20 credit version INFR11133 from 2017/18 on).
Course description * Statistical models of translation
- Probabilistic models
- Latent variable alignment models
- n-gram language models
- linear models
- neural models

* Learning and inference for translation models
- Maximum likelihood
- Expectation maximization
- Discriminative learning
- Stochastic methods
- Dynamic programming
- Approximate search

* Linguistic phenomena and their associated modelling problems
- Morphology
- Syntax
- Semantics

* Evaluation of machine translation systems
- By humans
- By machines
- Use in design of loss functions for learning algorithms

* Engineering concerns
- Scaling
- Approximations
- Efficient data structures

* History of machine translation
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Advanced Natural Language Processing (INFR11059) OR Accelerated Natural Language Processing (INFR11125) OR Foundations of Natural Language Processing (INFR09028)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is open to all Informatics students including those on joint degrees. For external students where this course is not listed in your DPT, please seek special permission from the course organiser.

Advanced Natural Language Processing or equivalent.

Students are expected to understand the following topics, or be prepared to learn them independently.

- Discrete mathematics: analysis of algorithms, dynamic programming, basic graph algorithms, finite and pushdown automata.

- Other essential maths: basic probability theory; basic calculus and linear algebra; ability to read and manipulate mathematical notation including sums, products, log, and exp.

- Programming: ability to read and modify python programs; ability to design and implement a function based on high-level description such as pseudocode or a precise mathematical statement of what the function computes.

- Linguistics: willingness to learn basic elements of linguistic description; no formal linguistics background required.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 20, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 76 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 70 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 70% exam
30% coursework.

Coursework will consist of one item of coursework dealing with some practical aspect of translation. This will involve analysis of particular problems (for example, reordering or word selection), as well as actual problem solving.

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.
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)Machine Translation2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the main linguistic challenges involved in machine translation.
  2. Understand state-of-the-art models and algorithms used to address challenges in machine translation.
  3. Design, implement, and apply modifications to state-of-the-art machine translation models algorithms.
  4. Understand the computational and engineering challenges that arise in the use of different models for machine translation.
  5. Understand, design and justify approaches to evaluation of machine translation systems.
Reading List
* Statistical Machine Translation, P. Koehn, Cambridge University Press, 2010
* Primary literature
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsMachine Translation
Course organiserDr Rico Sennrich
Course secretaryMr Gregor Hall
Tel: (0131 6)50 5194
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