Distinguished Lecture with Mari Ostendorf: Context-Adaptive Recurrent Neural Models of Language

Date(s) - 11 Feb 2019
1:10 PM - 2:00 PM

3043 ECpE Building Addition

Mari OstendorfSpeaker: Mari Ostendorf, Associate Vice Provost for Research and Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington

Title: Context-Adaptive Recurrent Neural Models of Language

Abstract: Language use varies depending on context, which is reflected in a variety of factors, including topic, location, communication mode, social context or objective, and individual style. Differences can be so great that text from one domain is often found to be useless for another, but training separate language models for different contexts is not efficient. In this talk, we introduce a new mechanism for using context to control a recurrent neural network (RNN) model of language, where context can include a variety of variables, both continuous and discrete. The approach builds on the idea of using a context embedding as input to an RNN, but uses the context vector control a low-rank transformation of the recurrent layer weight matrix, inspired by multi-factor low-rank logbilinear language models. Experiments show performance gains for several different types of context using multiple data sets and different language processing tasks, and the models are computationally efficient compared to alternative approaches.

Bio: Mari Ostendorf is an Endowed Professor of System Design Methodologies in the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department at the University of Washington (UW) and Associate Vice Provost for Research. She received her PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University and joined UW in 1999 after working at BBN Laboratories and Boston University. She has been a visiting researcher at the ATR Interpreting Telecommunications Laboratory and the University of Karlsruhe, a Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance Distinguished Visiting Fellow, and an Australia-America Fulbright Scholar at Macquarie University. Prof. Ostendorf’s research interests are in dynamic, data-driven models for speech and language processing. She is particularly interested in multi-party conversational interactions and the integration of prosodic cues in speech analysis. Her work has resulted in over 270 publications and 2 paper awards. She has served as an Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing and Computer Speech and Language, as the VP Publications for the IEEE Signal Processing Society, as a member of the IEEE Periodicals Committee, and on several other IEEE committees. Prof. Ostendorf is a Fellow of the IEEE, ISCA, and ACL, a recipient of the 2010 IEEE HP Harriett B. Rigas Award, a 2013-2014 IEEE Signal Processing Society Distinguished Lecturer, and a recipient of the 2018 IEEE James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award.

ECpE Seminar Host: Namrata Vaswani

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Interested in giving a seminar? Contact Professor Namrata Vaswani.

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