Garfield Nate

Big Fat Hairy Programmer

Graphing Grammar Parses From CMU Sphinx 4

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CMU Sphinx comes with some neat grammar parsing stuff that I never knew about. It uses JSGF (as detailed here) and comes with several demos, showing how to use a basic grammar, arc weights, tags, and even getting a javascript representation of the final parse! At work I’ve been needing to do some custom processing of the grammar output, but it was more conceptually difficult than I’d planned. So after figuring out how to traverse a parse tree, I decided to write a little application to print out the parse of a given sentence. The eclipse project for it can be found here.

Given this small gramamar:

#JSGF V1.0;
grammar sidTests ;

public <greet> = <greeting> [<person>] [i am <person>];

<greeting> = konnichiwa {language:japanese} | hello {language:english} | guten tag {language:german};

<person> = john {gender:man} | martha {gender:female} | kelly;

If we parse the sentence “konnichiwa kelly i am john”, the program outputs the following:

digraph {
 "greet-2147483647" [label="greet" color=magenta];
 "greet-2147483647" -> "(<sidTests.greeting> = konnichiwa {language:japanese}) ( (<sidTests.person> = kelly) ) ( i am (<sidTests.person> = john {gender:man}) )-2147483646";
 "(<sidTests.greeting> = konnichiwa {language:japanese}) ( (<sidTests.person> = kelly) ) ( i am (<sidTests.person> = john {gender:man}) )-2147483646" [label="(<sidTests.greeting> = konnichiwa {language:japanese}) ( (<sidTests.person> = kelly) ) ( i am (<sidTests.person> = john {gender:man}) )" color=green];
 "(<sidTests.greeting> = konnichiwa {language:japanese}) ( (<sidTests.person> = kelly) ) ( i am (<sidTests.person> = john {gender:man}) )-2147483646" -> "greeting-2147483645";
 "greeting-2147483645" [label="greeting" color=magenta];
 "greeting-2147483645" -> "konnichiwa {language:japanese}-2147483644";
 "konnichiwa {language:japanese}-2147483644" [label="konnichiwa {language:japanese}" color=green];
 "konnichiwa {language:japanese}-2147483644" -> "language:japanese-2147483643";
 "language:japanese-2147483643" [label="{language:japanese}" color=red];
 "language:japanese-2147483643" -> "konnichiwa-2147483642";
 "konnichiwa-2147483642" [label="konnichiwa" color=cadetblue shape=box];
 "(<sidTests.greeting> = konnichiwa {language:japanese}) ( (<sidTests.person> = kelly) ) ( i am (<sidTests.person> = john {gender:man}) )-2147483646" -> "(<sidTests.person> = kelly)-2147483641";
 "(<sidTests.person> = kelly)-2147483641" [label="(<sidTests.person> = kelly)" color=green];
 "(<sidTests.person> = kelly)-2147483641" -> "person-2147483640";
 "person-2147483640" [label="person" color=magenta];
 "person-2147483640" -> "kelly-2147483639";
 "kelly-2147483639" [label="kelly" color=green];
 "kelly-2147483639" -> "kelly-2147483638";
 "kelly-2147483638" [label="kelly" color=cadetblue shape=box];
 "(<sidTests.greeting> = konnichiwa {language:japanese}) ( (<sidTests.person> = kelly) ) ( i am (<sidTests.person> = john {gender:man}) )-2147483646" -> "i am (<sidTests.person> = john {gender:man})-2147483637";
 "i am (<sidTests.person> = john {gender:man})-2147483637" [label="i am (<sidTests.person> = john {gender:man})" color=green];
 "i am (<sidTests.person> = john {gender:man})-2147483637" -> "i-2147483636";
 "i-2147483636" [label="i" color=cadetblue shape=box];
 "i am (<sidTests.person> = john {gender:man})-2147483637" -> "am-2147483635";
 "am-2147483635" [label="am" color=cadetblue shape=box];
 "i am (<sidTests.person> = john {gender:man})-2147483637" -> "person-2147483634";
 "person-2147483634" [label="person" color=magenta];
 "person-2147483634" -> "john {gender:man}-2147483633";
 "john {gender:man}-2147483633" [label="john {gender:man}" color=green];
 "john {gender:man}-2147483633" -> "gender:man-2147483632";
 "gender:man-2147483632" [label="{gender:man}" color=red];
 "gender:man-2147483632" -> "john-2147483631";
 "john-2147483631" [label="john" color=cadetblue shape=box];
}

which is all a big mess until we run it through GraphViz and see this:

A graph explaining how our sentence was parsed! I color code the parse: green is a RuleSequence, magenta is a RuleParse, light blue is a Token, red is a Tag, yellow (which there strangely aren’t any of) is a RuleName.

I notice two very strange things here. First, RuleParses don’t have anything as a direct child except for RuleSequences (RuleName is also possible but not shown). So RuleSequences will always be present and may only have one child. Second, text is treated as a sub-component of a tag instead of the other way around. So the text is tagging the tag? I don’t know why they designed it that way, but at least now that I have a graph of the parse so I can figure out how to properly process it.

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