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Ideas for Google Summer of Code

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This is the ideas page for Google Summer of Code, here you can find ideas on interesting projects that would make Apertium more useful for people and improve or expand our functionality. If you have an idea please add it below, if you think you could mentor someone in a particular area, add your name to "Interested mentors" using ~~~

The page is intended as an overview of the kind of projects we have in mind. If one of them particularly piques your interest, please come and discuss with us on #apertium on irc.freenode.net, mail the mailing list, or draw attention to yourself in some other way.

Note that, if you have an idea that isn't mentioned here, we would be very interested to hear about it.

Here are some more things you could look at:

[edit] List

Apertium in chat clients
How ?
(required skills)
What ?
(description)
Why ?
(rationale)
Who ?
(mentors)
Good command of Java, interfaces, Android, and scripting languages Make it possible to use Apertium seamlessly from inside Telegram, XChat, Pidgin. Telegram is a free/open-source, documented-API alternative to Whatsapp. Using the existing offline Apertium code base it should be possible to integrate it in the Android version of Telegram or in the Chrome/Chromium plugin. XChat is one of the most popular IRC programs. Apertium has come a long way to becoming a machine translation system that may be easily installed (e.g. apertium-caffeine). This means that it should be easy to interface that so that it works as a plugin to XChat (see XChat 2.0 Plugin interface) mlforcada, other mentors wanted.
2. Medium read more...
Unify the metadix formats
How ?
(required skills)
What ?
(description)
Why ?
(rationale)
Who ?
(mentors)
Good command of XML, XSLT, scripting languages Unify and extend the various "metadix" formats used in Apertium and deploy the modifications In some language pairs, dictionaries are not written directly in the .dix format understood by lt-comp, but rather in a higher-level format called .metadix which is converted to .dix using a cascade of XSLT stylesheets and scripts. However, the .metadix format is different in each language pair, and, therefore, each language pair contains its own scripts and XSLT stylesheets. There are basically two such formats. The idea is to unify them in a single format that can be processed with scripts that would then be part of lttoolbox or apertium, and, if possible, extend it so that it allows for "variables " in bilingual dictionaries, so that one can have a single entry for (e.g.) 'foodstock'/'foodstocks' (en) = 'matèria primera'/'matèries primeres' (ca), which is currently not possible. mlforcada
2. Medium read more...
Command-line translation memory fuzzy-match repair
How ?
(required skills)
What ?
(description)
Why ?
(rationale)
Who ?
(mentors)
Any command-line scripting language or Java, or C++ ... Extend the Apertium capability to deal with translation memory so that it can "repair" some fuzzy matches when it is "safe" to do so. Currently Apertium has support for translation memories, basically as follows: If an input sentence is found exactly in the translation memory, it is not machine translated but instead retrieved from the translation memory. However, it may be the case that one finds, for instance, sentences that differ only in one or two words. In that case, it may make sense to try and use Apertium only to "patch" the translation in the memory. It is actually possible to do this in a "safe" way. mlforcada
1. Hard read more...
Bring a released language pair up to state-of-the-art quality
How ?
(required skills)
What ?
(description)
Why ?
(rationale)
Who ?
(mentors)
XML, a scripting language (Python, Perl), good knowledge of the language pair adopted. Take a released language pair, and drastically improve the performance both in terms of coverage, and in terms of translation quality. This will involve working with dictionaries, transfer rules, scripting, corpora. The objective is to make an Apertium language pair state-of-the-art, or close to state-of-the-art in terms of translation quality. This will involve improving coverage to 95-98% on a range of corpora and decreasing word error rate by 30-50%. For example if the current word error rate is 30%, then it should be reduced to 15-20%. Apertium has quite a broad coverage of language pairs, but few of these pairs offer state-of-the-art translation quality. We think broad is important, but deep coverage is important too. Francis Tyers
2. Medium read more...
Adopt an unreleased language pair
How ?
(required skills)
What ?
(description)
Why ?
(rationale)
Who ?
(mentors)
XML, a scripting language (Python, Perl), good knowledge of the language pair adopted. Take on an orphaned unreleased language pair, and bring it up to release quality results. What this quality will be will depend on the language pair adopted, and will need to be discussed with the prospective mentor. This will involve writing linguistic data (including morphological rules and transfer rules — which are specified in a declarative language — and possibly Constraint Grammar rules if that is relevant) Apertium has a few pairs of languages (e.g. mt-he, ga-gd, ur-hi, pl-cs, sh-ru, etc...) that are orphaned, they don't have active maintainers. A lot of these pairs have a lot of work already put in, just need another few months to get them to release quality. See also Incubator Francis Tyers, Jimregan, Kevin Scannell, Trondtr, Unhammer, Darthxaher, Firespeaker, Hectoralos, Hrvoje Peradin, Jacob Nordfalk
3. Entry level read more...
Extend lttoolbox to have the power of HFST
How ?
(required skills)
What ?
(description)
Why ?
(rationale)
Who ?
(mentors)
C++, XSLT, XML Extend lttoolbox (perhaps writing a preprocessor for it) so that it can be used to do the morphological transformations currently done with HFST. And yes, of course, writing something that translates the current HFST format to the new lttolbox format. Proof of concept: Come up with a new format that can express all of the features found in the Kazakh transducer; implement this format in Apertium; Implement the Kazakh transducer in this format and integrate it in the English--Kazakh pair. Some language pairs in Apertium use HFST where most language pairs use Apertium's own lttoolbox. This is due to the fact that writing morphologies for languages that have features such as the vowel harmony found in Turkic languages is very hard with the current format supported by lttoolbox. The mixture of HFST and lttoolbox makes it harder for people to develop some language pairs. Mikel Forcada, Tommi A Pirinen?, mentors wanted!
1. Hard read more
Discontiguous multiwords
How ?
(required skills)
What ?
(description)
Why ?
(rationale)
Who ?
(mentors)
C++, Knowledge of FSTs The task will be to develop, or adapt a module to deal with these kind of contiguous multiword expressions, for example, taking 'liggja ekki fyrir' and reordering it as 'liggja# fyrir ekki'. In many languages, such as English, Norwegian and Icelandic, there are discontiguous multiwords, e.g. phrasal verbs, that we cannot easily support. For example 'liggja ekki fyrir' in Icelandic should be translated in English as 'to be not clear', but we cannot have 'liggja fyrir' as a traditional multiword because of the extra 'adverb', or it could even be a whole NP. Francis Tyers
2. Medium read more...
Rule-based finite-state disambiguation
How ?
(required skills)
What ?
(description)
Why ?
(rationale)
Who ?
(mentors)
XML, C++ or Java Implement a disambiguation framework for Apertium that can be expressed as a finite-state transducer. It might be a good idea to express this as constraint rules, in a novel XML-based file format. It would be a good idea to look at LanguageTool, and IceParser and Apertium's own apertium-lex-tools to get ideas on how this might be accomplished. Currently Apertium only has a bigram/trigram part-of-speech tagger. For most languages, bigram/trigram POS disambiguation really doesn't work, especially when you want to disambiguate morphology (e.g. number, case) along with part-of-speech. So far we've been using constraint grammar for some of these languages. But although Constraint Grammar is great and powerful, it is also pretty slow. Francis Tyers (C++), Jacob Nordfalk (Java)
1. Hard read more...
Flag diacritics in lttoolbox
How ?
(required skills)
What ?
(description)
Why ?
(rationale)
Who ?
(mentors)
C++ or Java, XML, Knowledge of FSTs Adapt lttoolbox to elegantly use flag diacritics. Flag diacritics are a way of avoiding transducer size blow-up by discarding impossible paths at runtime as opposed to compile time.

Some work have already been done, see Flag diacritics.

This will involve designing some changes to our XML dictionary format (see lttoolbox, and implementing the associated changes in the FST compiling processing code. The reason behind this is that many languages have prefix inflection, and we cannot currently deal with this without either making paradigms useless, or overanalysing (e.g. returning analyses where none exist). Flag diacritics (or constraints) would allow us to restrict overanalysis without blowing up the size of our dictionaries. Francis Tyers (C++), Jacob Nordfalk (Java)
1. Hard read more...
Complex multiwords
How ?
(required skills)
What ?
(description)
Why ?
(rationale)
Who ?
(mentors)
Java or C++, XML, Knowledge of FSTs Write a bidirectional module for specifying complex multiword units, for example dirección general and zračna luka. See Multiwords for more information. Although in the Romance languages it is not a big problem, as soon as you start to get to languages with cases (e.g. Serbo-Croatian, Slovenian, German, etc.) the problem comes that you can't define a multiword of adj nom because the adjective has a lot of inflection. Jimregan
1. Hard read more...
Optimise the VM for transfer
How ?
(required skills)
What ?
(description)
Why ?
(rationale)
Who ?
(mentors)
Python, C++, XML, code optimisation, JIT techniques, etc. The current VM for the transfer architecture of Apertium is up to five times slower than the XML tree-walking implementation. The job of this task is to optimise the C++ code to make it faster than XML tree-walking. The rationale behind this is that XML tree-walking is quite slow and CPU intensive. In modern (3 or more stage) pairs, transfer takes up most of the CPU. There are other options, like Bytecode for transfer, but we would like something that does not require external libraries and is adapted specifically for Apertium. Sortiz
2. Medium read more...
Accent and diacritic restoration
How ?
(required skills)
What ?
(description)
Why ?
(rationale)
Who ?
(mentors)
C, C++, XML, familiarity with linguistic issues, knowledge of FSTs preferable Create an optional module to restore diacritics and accents on input text, and integrate it into the Apertium pipeline. Many languages use diacritics and accents in normal writing, and Apertium is designed to use these, however in some places, especially for example. instant messaging, irc, searching in the web etc. these are often not used or untyped. This causes problems as for the engine, traduccion is not the same as traducción. Kevin Scannell, Trondtr
3. Entry level read more...
Geriaoueg vocabulary assistant
How ?
(required skills)
What ?
(description)
Why ?
(rationale)
Who ?
(mentors)
PHP, C++, XML Extend Geriaoueg so that it works more reliably with broken HTML, with any given language pair (e.g. support for both lttoolbox and HFST. Geriaoueg is a program that provides "popup" vocabulary assistance, something like BBC Vocab or Lingro. Currently it only works with Breton--French, Welsh--English and Spanish--Breton. This task would be to develop it to work with any language in our SVN and fix problems with processing and displaying non-standard HTML. Francis Tyers
3. Entry level read more...
Closer integration with HFST
How ?
(required skills)
What ?
(description)
Why ?
(rationale)
Who ?
(mentors)
C++, Autotools, XML This is a set of subtasks to make it easier for Apertium developers to use the Helsinki Finite-State Toolkit (HFST). It will involve: Adjusting the HFST build process to allow for an Apertium-tailored install. Making an XML format for lexc designed with machine translation in mind. Adjusting the tokenisation code in hfst-proc. Making lttoolbox a possible backend for HFST. HFST is a great toolkit for working with morphological transducers, but it is pretty difficult to install, and also not very well integrated with Apertium / doesn't really follow the Apertium way of doing things. We'd like to make it more closely integrated. Francis Tyers, Tommi A Pirinen
2. Medium read more...
Corpus-based lexicalised feature transfer
How ?
(required skills)
What ?
(description)
Why ?
(rationale)
Who ?
(mentors)
C++, NLP Make a module that sits somewhere in the Apertium pipeline (somewhere after the lexical selection and before morphological generation) that sets features (eg. tags) based on a model generated from a corpus. Let's get down to brass tacks, sometimes we get really inadequate translations even though you'd never hear stuff like that. One of those things is when we output something as definite when it is never used as definite. One way of dealing with this is a lot of rules and lists in transfer, but those are hard to do. So, how about looking at a corpus for information about some features like definiteness, aspect, evidentiality, impersonal/reflexive pronoun use in Romance languages etc. Francis Tyers, Jimregan
1. Hard read more...
lint for Apertium
How ?
(required skills)
What ?
(description)
Why ?
(rationale)
Who ?
(mentors)
Python, C++, XML, autotools Make a program which tests Apertium data files for suspicious or unrecommended constructs (likely to be bugs). Somtimes when several people are working on the same code, things can get repeated, or beginners can make unrecommended changes. A lint tester would help people write standard code for dictionaries and transfer files. Francis Tyers
2. Medium read more...
Prototype recursive transfer implementations
How ?
(required skills)
What ?
(description)
Why ?
(rationale)
Who ?
(mentors)
Python, XML, linguistics The purpose of this task would be to create a prototype module to replace the apertium-transfer module(s) which will parse and allow transfer operations on an input. Currently we have a problem with very distantly related languages that have long-distance constituent reordering, because we can only do finite-state chunking. Francis Tyers, Sortiz
1. Hard read more...
Apertium assimilation evaluation toolkit
How ?
(required skills)
What ?
(description)
Why ?
(rationale)
Who ?
(mentors)
A scripting language Starting from files containing sentences in the source language and reference translations, generate tests for human evaluation consisting of: (1) (optionally) the source sentence, (2) (optionally) the machine-translated version of the source sentences and (3) a reference translation of the sentence in which one or more content words have been deleted. The idea is to measure how the ability of human subjects to fill in the holes improves when the source or a machine translation of it are presented. The task involves also generating a program that computes the success as a function of the information presented to the user, and utilities to make the whole process automatic given an Apertium language pair. Many Apertium language pairs are designed for assimilation (gisting) purposes. The evaluation described would measure how helpful they are in the task. Francis Tyers, Mikel Forcada
3. Entry level read more...
Plain-text formats for Apertium data
How ?
(required skills)
What ?
(description)
Why ?
(rationale)
Who ?
(mentors)
XSLT, XML, flex, bison Apertium data is currently largely encoded in XML-based formats. These are very overt and clear, but clumsy and hard to write. The idea is to make a plain-text format (based on the old MorphTrans format) and write converters to/from the existing XML based format. Many of our developers like the XML-based transfer and dictionary formats, but there are always some who would prefer a more texty format. This idea would make them happier. Happy developers write more code! Mlforcada
2. Medium read more...
Extend Mitzuli to support all language pairs
How ?
(required skills)
What ?
(description)
Why ?
(rationale)
Who ?
(mentors)
C++, Java, Android Integrate runtimes for HFST and vislcg3 into Mitzuli, an Android app for translation. Mitzuli (see here) is a fantastic Android app for mobile telephones. It is an interface, based on lttoolbox-java and other programs that allows you to translate, and do OCR combined with translation. The main drawback at the moment is that it doesn't support HFST and also doesn't support CG, which a number of language pairs rely on (for example Sámi, Turkic, Breton, Welsh etc.) The objective of this task is to make Mitzuli support them. Mikel, Tino Didriksen, TommiPirinen
1. Hard read more...
Improving support for non-standard text input
How ?
(required skills)
What ?
(description)
Why ?
(rationale)
Who ?
(mentors)
Python, XML, familiarity with linguistic issues, knowledge of FSTs preferable Create a module that will standardise non-standard input. For example, slang, abbreviations. Machine translation systems, especially rule-based systems, are pretty fragile when it comes to non-standard input. Get a comma, space, apostrophe or hyphen in the wrong place and it can come out all wrong. But, we definitely want to be able to translate IRC, SMS, Tweets and Youtube comments... Francis Tyers
3. Entry level read more...
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