UMD Professor Featured in Slate as Program Manager of BOLT

UMD Professor Featured in Slate as Program Manager of BOLT

The University of Maryland's Bonnie Dorr was recently featured in a Slate.com article for her work on the Broad Operational Language Translation (BOLT) program.

Researchers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have been working on developing a "speech to speech" computer translation system as part of a five-year program named TransTac. TransTac software was intended to listen to a human speaking one language, translate it and then speak in another language. At the conclusion of the program, TransTac reached around eighty percent accuracy.

A method to improve accuracy is statistical machine translation (SMT) that will infer language rules from existing databases of translated texts. SMT seeks to build models that properly align sentences, demonstrate how languages work independently and identify similarities between each one. A metric to score machine translation programs, named BLEU, was developed by IBM. BLEU compares the computer translation to a human translation of the same sentence. However, this is not entirely effective becuase the scores do not hold significant meaning.

Bonnie Dorr, a professor at the University of Maryland College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences, is the program manager for the BOLT program. Dorr says that DARPA is "very focused on moving beyond statistical models" because as more data is used to create algorithms, it begins to output "diminishing returns. The payoff gets smaller, and you start to plateau with your results even if you increase the volume of training data.”

DARPA continues to try new and innnovative methods to enhance computer translation software, such as semantic tagging. 

University of Maryland researchers engaged in work related to the BOLT program include: Doug Oard, Philip Resnik, Jimmy Lin, and Hal Daumé III.

To learn more, visit: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2012/05/darpa_s_transtac_bolt_and_other_machine_translation_programs_search_for_meaning_.html

Related Articles:
UMD Discovery Could Enable Portable Particle Accelerators
Animals Key to Biodiversity of Over-Fertilized Prairies
UMD Researchers Uncovering How Humans Hear One Voice Among Many
Researchers Achieve Breakthrough in Nanoprecision Imaging
Innovative Drug Delivery System Wins Venture Fair at UMD Bioscience Research Day
UMD Researchers Plan Strategic Defense Against the Invasive Stink Bug
UMD Biologists Discover Cave Catfish Use “Teeth” to Navigate

May 11, 2012


Prev   Next

Current Headlines

Campus Innovators, Partners Honored at “Innovate Maryland”

UMD Researchers Invent New Method to Control Cell Function with Electronics

UMD Invention Creates Streamlined Platform for Testing Effectiveness of Anti-Aging Cosmetics

UMD Researchers Develop an Oral Topical Therapeutic Agent for Thrush

UMD Researchers Create Affordable Camera Array That Captures Light Fields for Virtual Reality Applications

Researchers Introduce RoCo, a Mobile Personal Heating and Cooling Device

UMD Invention Tackles Remote Wireless Power Delivery

New Vaccine Could Pave Way to Better Gastrointestinal Health in Children

News Resources

Return to Newsroom

Search News

Archived News

Events Resources

Events Calendar

Additional Resources

UM Newsdesk

Faculty Experts

Connect

social iconstwitterlinkedinrss
Division of Research
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-1541

Email: vpr@umd.edu
© Copyright 2014 University of Maryland

Did You Know

UMD records approximately $560M in research expenditures per year