Straw Man as Weapon: Simple Approaches to Processing Human Language – James Mayfield (JHU Applied Physics Lab)

October 10, 2006 all-day

Many evaluations of human language technologies use a “straw man system” as a point of comparison. Yet the straw man doesn’t often attract significant attention, either from the audience or from the author. In this talk, I will argue that for many human language technologies, careful selection of a straw man can lead to significant insights into the nature of the problem being studied. I will draw on examples from information retrieval and information extraction to illustrate this point.

James Mayfield is a member of the Principal Professional Staff at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, as well as Associate Research Professor in the Whiting School of Engineering. He is Principal Investigator for the HAIRCUT information retrieval project, which routinely places among the top systems in the world in international evaluations of cross-language retrieval.

Center for Language and Speech Processing