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Hippocratic Abbreviation Expansion

ACL, ACL (2014)


Incorrect normalization of text can be particularly damaging for applications like text-to-speech synthesis (TTS) or typing auto-correction, where the resulting normalization is directly presented to the user, versus feeding downstream applications. In this paper, we focus on abbreviation expansion for TTS, which requires a ``do no harm'', high precision approach yielding few expansion errors at the cost of leaving relatively many abbreviations unexpanded. In the context of a large-scale, real-world TTS scenario, we present methods for training classifiers to establish whether a particular expansion is apt. We achieve a large increase in correct abbreviation expansion when combined with the baseline text normalization component of the TTS system, together with a substantial reduction in incorrect expansions.