Book: Automata and Dictionaries

Thierry Hamon thierry.hamon at LIPN.UNIV-PARIS13.FR
Fri Feb 10 15:52:22 UTC 2006

Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 15:04:04 +0100
From: Denis Maurel <denis.maurel at>
Message-Id: < at>

We are pleased to announce you the publication of:

Automata and Dictionaries
King's College Publications
240 pages


ISBN 1-904-987-32-X.

Automata and Dictionaries is aimed at students and specialists in
natural language processing and related disciplines where efficient
text analysis plays a role. Large linguistic resources, in particular
lexica, are now recognized as a fundamental pre-requisite for all
natural language processing tasks. Specialists of this domain cannot
afford to be ignorant of the state-of-the-art lexicon-management
algorithms. This monograph, which is also intended be used a an
advanced text book in computational linguistics, fills a gap in
natural language processing monographs and be complementary to other
publications in this area.

This book is a source of examples, exercises and problems for software
engineering in general. The algorithms that are presented are
excellent examples of non-trivial problems of graph construction,
graph handling and graph traversal. Even though published in
scientific journals, they have not been accessible in an easily
accessible form to teachers and students. These algorithms will also
be of interest for the training of software engineers.

Chapter 1 of Automata and Dictionaries provides the
application-oriented motivation for solving the problems studied in
the rest of the book. It introduces and exemplifies several key
notions of lexicon-based natural language processing in a way
accessible to any computer science student.

Chapter 2 surveys the main solutions of the problem, but only on the
example of a very small toy lexicon. Chapter 3 defines the underlying
mathematical notions, immediately illustrating theory with the aid of
practical examples, which makes this part quite readable.

Chapters 4 and 5 are dedicated to the two central notions of lexicon
construction: the algorithms of determinization and minimisation. The
standard form of both algorithms is presented, but also their variants
and some special cases that occur frequently in practice. The
operation of the algorithms is described step by step in examples,
introducing the beginner into the world of epsilon-transitions, state
heights and reverse automata.

Chapter 6 goes a step further into complexity. It is based on
algorithms published by scholars from 1998 to now. They are presented
here with the same clarity as the preceding, more classical,
algorithms. This remarkable achievement owes much to the rigorous
structuring of this chapter. These algorithms have variants for
transducers, which are presented in Chapter 7 with the same
pedagogical skill.

The last chapter studies time and space complexity of the algorithms
and explains several tricks useful to speed up their operation.

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