Character-Aware neural language models

Yoon Kim, Yacine Jernite, David Sontag, Alexander M. Rush

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We describe a simple neural language model that relies only on character-level inputs. Predictions are still made at the word-level. Our model employs a convolutional neural network (CNN) and a highway network over characters, whose output is given to a long short-Term memory (LSTM) recurrent neural network language model (RNN-LM). On the English Penn Treebank the model is on par with the existing state-of-The-Art despite having 60% fewer parameters. On languages with rich morphology (Arabic, Czech, French, German, Spanish, Russian), the model outperforms word-level/morpheme-level LSTM baselines, again with fewer parameters. The results suggest that on many languages, character inputs are sufficient for language modeling. Analysis of word representations obtained from the character composition part of the model reveals that the model is able to encode, from characters only, both semantic and orthographic information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication30th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2016
PublisherAAAI press
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781577357605
StatePublished - 2016
Event30th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2016 - Phoenix, United States
Duration: Feb 12 2016Feb 17 2016

Publication series

Name30th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2016


Other30th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence


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