Paper: Computational Techniques For Improved Name Search

ACL ID A88-1028
Title Computational Techniques For Improved Name Search
Venue Applied Natural Language Processing Conference
Session Main Conference
Year 1988

This paper describes enhancements made to techniques currently used to search large databases of proper names. Improvements included use of a Hidden Markov Model (HMM) statistical classifier to identify the likely linguistic provenance of a surname, and application of language-specific rules to generate plausible spelling variations of names. These two components were incorporated into a prototype front-end system driving existing name search procedures. HMM models and sets of linguistic rules were constructed for Farsi, Spanish and Vietnamese surnames and tested on a database of over 11,000 entries. Preliminary evaluation indicates improved retrieval of 20-30% as measured by number of correct items retrieved.