Parsing is a key task in computer science, with applications in compilers, natural language processing, syntactic pattern matching, and formal language theory. With the recent development of deep learning techniques, several artificial intelligence applications, especially in natural language processing, have combined traditional parsing methods with neural networks to drive the search in the parsing space, resulting in hybrid architectures using both symbolic and distributed representations. In this article, we show that existing symbolic parsing algorithms for context-free languages can cross the border and be entirely formulated over distributed representations. To this end, we introduce a version of the traditional Cocke–Younger–Kasami (CYK) algorithm, called distributed (D)-CYK, which is entirely defined over distributed representations. D-CYK uses matrix multiplication on real number matrices of a size independent of the length of the input string. These operations are compatible with recurrent neural networks. Preliminary experiments show that D-CYK approximates the original CYK algorithm. By showing that CYK can be entirely performed on distributed representations, we open the way to the definition of recurrent layer neural networks that can process general context-free languages.
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