Treebanks, such as the Penn Treebank, provide a basis for the automatic creation of broad coverage grammars. In the simplest case, rules can simply be ‘read off’ the parse-annotations of the corpus, producing either a simple or probabilistic context-free grammar. Such grammars, however, can be very large, presenting problems for the subsequent computational costs of parsing under the grammar.\ud \ud In this paper, we explore ways by which a treebank grammar can be reduced in size or ‘compacted’, which involve the use of two kinds of technique: (i) thresholding of rules by their number of occurrences; and (ii) a method of rule-parsing, which has both probabilistic and non-probabilistic variants. Our results show that by a combined use of these two techniques, a probabilistic context-free grammar can be reduced in size by 62% without any loss in parsing performance, and by 71% to give a gain in recall, but some loss in precision
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