Anaphora resolution module

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Here you will find the documentation for the Anaphora Resolution module created during the Google Summer of Code 2019. (Proposal)


What is Anaphora Resolution?

Anaphora Resolution is the problem of resolving references to earlier items in discourse.

Anaphor: A linguistic unit that refers to an earlier linguistic unit in discourse.
Antecedent: The linguistic unit that the anaphor refers to.

For example,

Jessica is in the sixth grade and this is her father.

Here, "her" is the anaphor, and its antecedent is "Jessica".

Anaphora Resolution in Machine Translation

Anaphora Resolution is required in Machine Translation to produce correct and fluent translations. Since different languages encode information differently, resolving the antecedent of the anaphors in text becomes essential in several language pairs.

For example,

  • Spanish -> English
La chica comió su manzana
Translation: The girl ate his/her/its apple
Resolved Anaphora: The girl ate her apple
  • Add more examples

Anaphora Resolution in Apertium

In the Apertium pipeline, Anaphora Resolution happens after the Lexical Selection module, right before Transfer.

The output from the Lexical Selection module is analysed, and for each anaphor, the context is processed and the perceived antecedent is attached to the Lexical Unit of the anaphor. It is then sent to Transfer.

If the input sentence is Els grups del Parlament han mostrat aquest dimarts el seu suport al batle d'Alaró

The input to the Anaphora Resolution Module is:

^El<det><def><m><pl>/The<det><def><m><pl>$ ^grup<n><m><pl>/group<n><pl>$ ^de<pr>/of<pr>/from<pr>$ 
^el<det><def><m><sg>/the<det><def><m><sg>$ ^Parlament<n><m><sg>/Parliament<n><sg>$ 
^aquest<det><dem><m><sg>/this<det><dem><m><sg>$ ^dimarts<n><m><sp>/Tuesday<n><ND>$ 
^el seu<det><pos><m><sg>/his<det><pos><m><sg>$ ^suport<n><m><sg>/support<n><sg>$ 
^a<pr>/at<pr>/in<pr>/to<pr>$ ^el<det><def><m><sg>/the<det><def><m><sg>$ 
^*batle/*batle$ ^de<pr>/of<pr>/from<pr>$ ^*Alaró/*Alaró$^.<sent>/.<sent>$

The output is as follows:

^El<det><def><m><pl>/The<det><def><m><pl>/$ ^grup<n><m><pl>/group<n><pl>/$ ^de<pr>/of<pr>/from<pr>/$ 
^el<det><def><m><sg>/the<det><def><m><sg>/$ ^Parlament<n><m><sg>/Parliament<n><sg>/$ 
^aquest<det><dem><m><sg>/this<det><dem><m><sg>/$ ^dimarts<n><m><sp>/Tuesday<n><ND>/$ 
^el seu<det><pos><m><sg>/his<det><pos><m><sg>/group<n><pl>$ ^suport<n><m><sg>/support<n><sg>/$ 
^a<pr>/at<pr>/in<pr>/to<pr>/$ ^el<det><def><m><sg>/the<det><def><m><sg>/$ 
^*batle/*batle/$ ^de<pr>/of<pr>/from<pr>/$ ^*Alaró/*Alaró/$^.<sent>/.<sent>/$

So we can see that the anaphor el seu (a possessive determiner)

^el seu<det><pos><m><sg>/his<det><pos><m><sg>$

gets modified to

^el seu<det><pos><m><sg>/his<det><pos><m><sg>/group<n><pl>$

as we attach its antecedent group to it.

How does it work?