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Nonuniform Markov Models

Report ID:
October 1996
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A statistical language model assigns probability to strings of
arbitrary length. Unfortunately, it is not possible to gather
reliable statistics on strings of arbitrary length from a finite
corpus. Therefore, a statistical language model must decide that each
symbol in a string depends on at most a small, finite number of other
symbols in the string. In this report we propose a new way to model
conditional independence in Markov models. The central feature of our
nonuniform Markov model is that it makes predictions of varying
lengths using contexts of varying lengths. Experiments on the Wall
Street Journal reveal that the nonuniform model performs slightly
better than the classic interpolated Markov model.

This technical paper has been published as
Nonuniform Markov Models. Eric Sven Ristad and Robert G. Thomas, Internat. Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and
Signal Processing
, Munich, Germany, April 20-24,
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