2kenize: Tying Subword Sequences for Chinese Script Conversion
Pranav A, Isabelle Augenstein
Simplified Chinese to Traditional Chinese character conversion is a common
preprocessing step in Chinese NLP. Despite this, current approaches have poor
performance because they do not take into account that a simplified Chinese
character can correspond to multiple traditional characters. Here, we propose a
model that can disambiguate between mappings and convert between the two
scripts. The model is based on subword segmentation, two language models, as
well as a method for mapping between subword sequences. We further construct
benchmark datasets for topic classification and script conversion. Our proposed
method outperforms previous Chinese Character conversion approaches by 6 points
in accuracy. These results are further confirmed in a downstream application,
where 2kenize is used to convert pretraining dataset for topic classification.
An error analysis reveals that our method's particular strengths are in dealing
with code-mixing and named entities.