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AIC Seminar Series

From lexical trees to effective Eilenberg machines: the Zen toolkit for computational linguistics

Gérard HuetINRIA[Home Page]

Notice:  Hosted by Richard Waldinger.

Date:  Wednesday, January 15th 2014 at 4:00pm

Location:  EJ228 (SRI E building)  (Directions)


The Zen toolkit is a library in the functional programming language OCaml, oriented towards computational linguistics tasks. Its main data structure is a generic notion of decorated lexical tree, spanning the spectrum between lexicon structures and finite machines transition graphs. Zipper technology allows fast update of such structures in an applicative manner, while the sharing functor yields their optimal compression. A notion of differential word permits crisp representation of morphology as an editing distance. A reactive engine drives non-deterministic search in a fair and efficient manner. These simple concepts generalize to a general notion of relational programming with effective Eilenberg machines.

We shall demonstrate the effectiveness of this technology for Sanskrit segmentation.m lexical trees to effective Eilenberg machines:

   Bio for Gérard Huet

In May 68 I got my pilot license while training as an Aerospace engineer. I learnt programming in PAF on a CAB 500 computer, in Algol 60 on a CAE 510, in Fortran on an IBM 7094, and in LISP 1.5 on a PDP 10. In the 70’s I investigated lambda-calculus, higher-order unification and equational logic, and I worked on the programming environment Mentor with Gilles Kahn in the legendary bâtiment 8 in Rocquencourt. In the 80’s I headed the Formel project that developed the Caml functional programming language and theCalculus of Constructions logical framework. In the 90’s I worked on Type Theory, coordinated the European Logical Frameworks then Types Basic Research Actions, and headed the Coq project-team that developed the Coq proof assistant. From 1997 to 1999 I took a research break and assumed the position of International Relations Head at Inria Headquarters. I traveled a lot, I often wore a tie, and I was a tough negotiator. In 2000 I came back to research in Computational Linguistics, and developed the Zen toolkit for finite-state computation, the Aum transducers applicative structure, and the Sanskrit Heritage linguistic platform. In 2009 I was awarded a shawl for my Sanskrit work. In the last 5 years I worked on modular Eilenberg machines and the Relational Programming methodology with Benoît Razet. Nowadays I work mostly on Sanskrit Computational Linguistics within a joint team between Inria and University of Hyderabad. I received the Herbrand award in 1998. I was awarded an Honoris Causa Doctorate in Technology by Chalmers University in Göteborg in April 2004. I wore my best costume. In 2009 I became recipient of the EATCS Award. I wore my second best costume. In 2011 I was awarded the Inria "Grand Prix". I was last seen in Mumbai.

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