The Interactive Clue Aligner (ICA) - A Short User Guide
ICA is a PHP based web interface for interactive word alignment. It uses as its
backend the Clue Aligner
but can be used for manual alignment as well. You can
ICA works on one sentence pair at a time taken from a pre-defined parallel
corpus (its location is hard-coded in the script for the time being). PHP is a
server side scripting language and, therefore, the corpus has to be located on
the server running the script. An upload function could easily be
integrated. However, we would then need some form of authentication for
script also needs to have access to appropriate clues stored in local
(server-side) database files (one for each type). These files can be produced
by the Clue Aligner off-line.
- select clues and clue weights
- inspect alignment strategies and matching clues
- correct the alignment by adding and removing links
- display the contents of clue score databases
ICA actually calls the Clue Aligner as an external tool, runs it and parses the
log output to display the alignment results. This can then be modified within
the interface and the final alignment can be saved to disk (on the server, only
if this feature is not disabled).
Initially, ICA shows the main CGI form for selecting clues and starting the
alignment. The location of the corpus is hard-coded and cannot be
modified. First, you have to select some clue types to be used for the
alignment using the check-boxes in front of each clue type name. Select, for
example, 'dice', 'sim' and 'gw'. Now you can press the 'align' button to run
the word alignment with the current setup. If everything works, you will see
the selected sentence pair and the clue matrix in the upcoming screen. The
combined clue scores are shown in the matrix (multiplied by a certain factor to
make it look nice). The brightness (or better darkness) of the background color
indicates the strength of the clue values compared to the others. Cells in the
matrix that have been colored in red correspond to the word-to-word links that
have been used for the actual word alignment using the currently selected word
If you move the mouse over the clue matrix you will see that corresponding
source and target language words are highlighted in the frame of the matrix and
in the sentence pair above. If you move your mouse over aligned word pairs (red
cells) the corresponding word alignment in the table to the left (or below) is
highlighted as well.
You can also see the scores of the individual clues contributing to the final
score. Move the mouse over the scores in the matrix and you will see a small
tool-tip window with a list of clues and scores applied to this cell.
Selecting clues and clue weights
You can select any combination of clues fro alignment by checking the
checkboxes in the alignment form on the top. Change the clue type weight with
the selection box next to the clue type name. These values will be used
throughout your session until you change them.
Selecting the sentence pair to be aligned
You can select the sentence pair by its ID from the selection box to the left
in the same row as the 'align' button. You can also go to the next pair by
pressing the 'align next' link. The latter will call the aligner with the
current settings immediately after clicking on the link. The same applies to the
'align previous' link that allows you to go back to the previous sentence pair
and align it. If 'save' is not disabled you will have another short-cut link to
save the current alignment and to go to the next sentence pair and align it.
The clue aligner is called when pressing the 'align' button (or using the short
cut links 'align next', 'align previous' or 'save & align next'). The
aligner is called with the current settings using elected clues and
weights. You can choose the alignment strategy with the selection box to the
left of the 'align' button. For more information read the background
literature. The selection box immediately to the left of the 'align' button can
be used to set an alignment threshold. Words with a lower score than the chosen
threshold score will not be aligned. The alignment is only displayed but not
stored anywhere. You may save the current alignment into a local file (on the
server) if the 'save' function is not disabled. Note that there is only one
file for each sentence pair from the corpus. Each time you save an alignment the
old one will be overwritten.
Note that running the clue aligner is limited to 5 seconds. The call to the
external program will be killed if this limit is exceeded!
ICA is not only a visualization tool - it can also be used to alter the
alignment. You can click on each cell in the clue matrix to add a word-to-word
link (if not linked already) or to remove a word-to-word link (if they have
been aligned already). Word-to-word links that overlap with others will be
merged (that's how the actual word alignment is done shown in the table to the
left). Try to be patient and wait for the screen to refresh before clicking
You may save the alignment into a local file (on the sever) if the 'save'
function is not disabled. There is only one file per sentence pair and saving
an alignment will overwrite old ones!
Inspecting clue databases
You can have a look at the contents of clue databases. Simply click on the link
given the name of the clue type you like to inspect. This will give you a list
of 25 clues from the selected database. You can walk through the database using
the links surrounding the clue type name ('<<', '<', '>' and
'>>'). You can sort them by source language
item (click on source), by target language item (click on target), or by their
scores (click on score). You may also search for certain items in the database
using the input fields in the source and the target column. Note that these
functions use external tools that are limited to an execution time of 5
seconds. Displaying (and especially sorting) large databases will not work
correctly! Sorting scores also fail if scores are partly in exponential form.
Plans for the future
- sending alignment results via e-mail (necessary?)
- re-loading saved alignments to modify them later on
- make it possible to add your own clues via the interface
- file uploading + user authentication ....maybe integration in UplugWeb?
Jörg Tiedemann, 2003,
Recycling Translations - Extraction of Lexical
Data from Parallel Corpora and their Application in
Natural Language Processing,
Doctoral Thesis, Studia Linguistica
Upsaliensia 1, ISSN 1652-1366, ISBN
pdf, 1.3MB] [
Jörg Tiedemann, 2004
Word to word alignment strategies.
In Proceedings of the 20th International
Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING
2004). Geneva, Switzerland, August