Conditional Random Fields on Steroids

I have never been more excited about a paper that I contributed to! In this technical report Zhemin Zhu introduces a new theory for factorizing undirected graphical models, with astonishing results, reducing the training time for conditional random fields from weeks till seconds on a part-of-speech tagging task. Reducing the training time from weeks to seconds is like approaching the moon up to a distance of about 100 meter, or buying a Ferrari F12 for 10 cents!!

Separate Training for Conditional Random Fields Using Co-occurrence Rate Factorization

by Zhemin Zhu, Djoerd Hiemstra, Peter Apers, and Andreas Wombacher

The standard training method of Conditional Random Fields (CRFs) is very slow for large-scale applications. In this paper, we present separate training for undirected models based on the novel Co-occurrence Rate Factorization (CR-F). Separate training is a local training method. In contrast to piecewise training, separate training is exact. In contrast to MEMMs, separate training is unaffected by the label bias problem. Experiments show that separate training (i) is unaffected by the label bias problem; (ii) reduces the training time from weeks to seconds; and (iii) obtains competitive results to the standard and piecewise training on linear-chain CRFs.

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