Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. How to choose data for morphological inflection. Conference Proceeding uri icon



  • Data scarcity is a widespread problem for numerous natural language processing (NLP) tasks within low-resource languages. Within morphology, the labour-intensive task of tagging/glossing data is a serious bottleneck for both NLP and fieldwork. Active learning (AL) aims to reduce the cost of data annotation by selecting data that is most informative for the model. In this paper, we explore four sampling strategies for the task of morphological inflection using a Transformer model: a pair of oracle experiments where data is chosen based on correct/incorrect predictions by the model, model confidence, entropy, and random selection. We investigate the robustness of each sampling strategy across 30 typologically diverse languages, as well as a 10-cycle iteration using Natügu as a case study. Our results show a clear benefit to selecting data based on model confidence. Unsurprisingly, the oracle experiment, which is presented as a proxy for linguist/language informer feedback, shows the most improvement. This is followed closely by low-confidence and high-entropy forms. We also show that despite the conventional wisdom of larger data sets yielding better accuracy, introducing more instances of high-confidence, low-entropy, or forms that the model can already inflect correctly, can reduce model performance.

publication date

  • December 1, 2022

Date in CU Experts

  • February 20, 2023 7:58 AM

Full Author List

  • Muradoglu S; Hulden M

author count

  • 2

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 7294

end page

  • 7303