A Character-level Convolutional Neural Network for Distinguishing Similar Languages and Dialects

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Authors James Glass, Yonatan Belinkov
Journal/Conference Name WS 2016 12
Paper Category
Paper Abstract Discriminating between closely-related language varieties is considered a challenging and important task. This paper describes our submission to the DSL 2016 shared-task, which included two sub-tasks: one on discriminating similar languages and one on identifying Arabic dialects. We developed a character-level neural network for this task. Given a sequence of characters, our model embeds each character in vector space, runs the sequence through multiple convolutions with different filter widths, and pools the convolutional representations to obtain a hidden vector representation of the text that is used for predicting the language or dialect. We primarily focused on the Arabic dialect identification task and obtained an F1 score of 0.4834, ranking 6th out of 18 participants. We also analyze errors made by our system on the Arabic data in some detail, and point to challenges such an approach is faced with.
Date of publication 2016
Code Programming Language Python
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