Abstract: A Beam-Search Decoder for Normalization of Social Media Text with Application to Machine Translation

Pidong Wang and Hwee Tou Ng

Social media texts are written in an informal style, which hinders other natural language processing (NLP) applications such as machine translation. Text normalization is thus important for processing of social media text. Previous work mostly focused on normalizing words by replacing an informal word with its formal form. In this paper, to further improve other downstream NLP applications, we argue that other normalization operations should also be performed, e.g., missing word recovery and punctuation correction. A novel beam-search decoder is proposed to effectively integrate various normalization operations. Empirical results show that our system obtains statistically significant improvements over two strong baselines in both normalization and translation tasks, for both Chinese and English.

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