2016 Volume 23 Issue 3 Pages 235-266
Chinese word segmentation is an initial and important step in Chinese language processing. Recent advances in machine learning techniques have boosted the performance of Chinese word segmentation systems, yet the identification of out-of-vocabulary words is still a major problem in this field of study. Recent research has attempted to address this problem by exploiting characteristics of frequent substrings in unlabeled data. We propose a simple yet effective approach for extracting a specific type of frequent substrings, called maximized substrings, which provide good estimations of unknown word boundaries. In the task of Chinese word segmentation, we use these substrings which are extracted from large scale unlabeled data to improve the segmentation accuracy. The effectiveness of this approach is demonstrated through experiments using various data sets from different domains. In the task of unknown word extraction, we apply post-processing techniques that effectively reduce the noise in the extracted substrings. We demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of our approach by comparing the results with a widely applied Chinese word recognition method in a previous study.