Anoop Sarkar SFU Computer Science

Mahdi Soleimani passes his MSc thesis exam

Mahdi Soleimani successfully defended his MSc thesis on Apr 1st 2016.

The title of the thesis: “On the Importance of Decoding in Semi-supervised Learning”.

The abstract:

In many natural language processing (NLP) tasks a large amount of unlabelled data is available while labelled data is hard to attain. Bootstrapping techniques have been shown to be very successful on a variety of NLP tasks using only a small amount of supervision. In this research we have studied different bootstrapping techniques that separate the training step of the algorithm from the decoding step which produces the argmax label on test data. We then explore generative models trained in the conventional way using the EM algorithm but we use an initialization step and a decoding techniques similar to the Yarowsky bootstrapping algorithm. The new model is tested on named entity classification and word sense disambiguation tasks and has shown significant improvement over previous generative approaches.

M.Sc. Examining Committee:

  • Dr. Anoop Sarkar, Senior Supervisor
  • Dr. Fred Popowich, Supervisor
  • Dr. Martin Ester, Examiner
  • Dr. William (Nick) Sumner, Chair

More information on the Student theses page

No, this is not an elaborate April Fools joke on Mahdi. He really did pass.