Automated Postediting of Documents

Kevin Knight, Ishwar Chander

Large amounts of low- to medium-quality English texts are now being produced by machine translation (MT) systems, optical character readers (OCR), and non-native speakers of English. Most of this text must be postedited by hand before it sees the light of day. Improving text quality is tedious work, but its automation has not received much research attention. Anyone who has postedited a technical report or thesis written by a non-native speaker of English knows the potential of an automated postediting system. For the case of MT-generated text, we argue for the construction of postediting modules that are portable across MT systems, as an alternative to hardcoding improvements inside any one system. As an example, we have built a complete self-contained postediting module for the task of article selection (a, an, the) for English noun phrases. This is a notoriously difficult problem for Japanese-English MT. Our system contains over 200,000 rules derived automatically from online text resources. We report on learning algorithms, accuracy, and comparisons with human performance.


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