Constraint-based lexical selection module

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Lexical transfer

This is the output of lt-proc -b on an ambiguous bilingual dictionary.

[74306] ^El<det><def><f><sg>/The<det><def><f><sg>$ 
^estació<n><f><sg>/season<n><sg>/station<n><sg>$ ^més<preadv>/more<preadv>$ 
^i<cnjcoo>/and<cnjcoo>$ ^el<det><def><f><sg>/the<det><def><f><sg>$ 
^més<preadv>/more<preadv>$ ^sec<adj><f><sg>/dry<adj><sint><f><sg>$ 


L'estació més plujós és el tardor, i la més sec el estiu

Goes to:

The season/station more rainy is the autumn/fall, and the more dry the summer.

The module requires VM for transfer, or using apertium-transfer -b in order to work.


Check out the code from

$ svn co

you can make it using:

$ ./
$ make


Make a simple rule file,

    <match lemma="criminal" tags="adj"/>
    <match lemma="court" tags="n.*"><select lemma="juzgado" tags="n.*"/></match>

Then compile it:

$ ./apertium-lrx-comp rules.xml rules.fst
Written 1 rules, 3 patterns.

The input is the output of lt-proc -b,

$ echo "^There<adv>/Allí<adv>$ ^be<vbser><pri><p3><sg>/ser<vbser><pri><p3><sg>$ ^a<det><ind><sg>/uno<det><ind><GD><sg>$ 
^court<n><sg>/corte<n><f><sg>/cancha<n><f><sg>/juzgado<n><m><sg>/tribunal<n><m><sg>$^.<sent>/.<sent>$" | ./apertium-lrx-proc -t rules2.fst 
1:SELECT:1 juzgado<n><m><sg>
^There<adv>/Allí<adv>$ ^be<vbser><pri><p3><sg>/ser<vbser><pri><p3><sg>$ ^a<det><ind><sg>/uno<det><ind><GD><sg>$ 
^criminal<adj>/criminal<adj><mf>/delictivo<adj>$ ^court<n><sg>/juzgado<n><m><sg>$^.<sent>/.<sent>$

Rule format

A rule is made up of an ordered list of:

  • Matches
  • Operations (select, remove)
  <match lemma="el"/>  
  <match lemma="dona" tags="n.*">    
    <select lemma="wife"/> 
  <match lemma="de"/>

  <match lemma="estació" tags="n.*">    
    <select lemma="season"/> 
  <match lemma="més"/>
  <match lemma="plujós"/>

  <match lemma="guanyador"/>
  <match lemma="de"/>
  <match lemma="prova" tags="n.*">    
    <select lemma="event"/> 

Rule application process

Optimal application

We're interested in the longest match, but not left to right, so what we do is make an automata of the rule contexts (one rule is one transducer, then we compose them), and we read through them, each state is an LU, It needs to be non-deterministic, and you keep a log of alive paths/states, but also their "weight" (how many transitions have been made) -- the longest for each of the ambiguous words is the winner when we get to the end of the sentence.

Writing and generating rules


Main article: How to get started with lexical selection rules

A good way to start writing lexical selection rules is to take a corpus, and search for the problem word, you can then look at how the word should be translated, and the contexts it appears in.


Parallel corpus
Main article: Generating lexical-selection rules from a parallel corpus
Monolingual corpora


The general structure is as follows:

LSSRECORD = id, len, weight;



  • xml compiler
  • compile rule operation patterns, as well as matching patterns
  • make rules with gaps work
  • optimal coverage
  • fix bug with processing multiple sentences
  • instead of having regex OR, insert separate paths/states.
  • optimise the bestPath function (don't use strings to store the paths)
  • autotoolsise build
  • add option to compiler to spit out ATT transducers
  • fix bug with outputting an extra '\n' at the end
  • edit to allow input from lt-proc -b
  • make sure that -b works with -n too.
  • testing
  • null flush
  • default to case insensitive ? (perhaps case insensitive for lower case, case sensitive for uppercase)
  • add option to processor to spit out ATT transducers
  • profiling and speed up
    • why do the regex transducers have to be minimised ?
    • stop using string processing to retrieve rule numbers
    • retrieve vector of words, not string of words from lttoolbox
    • why does the performance drop substantially with more rules ?
  • 2011-12-12: 10,000 words / 97 seconds = 103 words/sec (71290 words, 14.84 sec = 4803 words/sec)
  • 2011-12-19: 10,000 words / 4 seconds = 2,035 words/sec (71290 words, 8 secs = 8911 words/sec)

Preparedness of language pairs

Pair Bilingual entries Fertility Rules

See also