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Dr Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh

Lecturer and EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellow

Research Interests

I am interested in logical and mathematical systems and tools for modelling and reasoning about artificial intelligence.

My current project is on combining statistical and logical methods to understand how language works,  so we may enable computers to use it in ways similar to humans. 

The statistical methods come from a pragmatic way of thinking about words:  based on co-occurence information retrieved from large corpora of data (e.g. books, news, wikipedia).  The logical methods, e.g.  lambda calculi, type-categorial grammars, generative systems,  work along side a principle of compositionality and  formalize the grammatical  structure of phrases and sentences. Putting the two together  enables us to reason about words, phrases, and sentences all at the same time. I hope to mechanize the corresponding computations so we can automate the reasoning. I have worked on applying these methods to  tasks such as entailment, disambiguation, paraphrasing. This line of research sheds light on the intricate structure of language and has as well a fine interdisciplinary niche:  models I work with are inspired by high level models of quantum mechanics whose resources (e.g. entanglement) have proved invaluable for obtaining better experimental results in language tasks.

Previously,  I worked on algebraic and categorical models of multi-agent information flow, resulting in a sound and complete algebraic semantics and a cut-free sequent calculus with adjoint modalities for a positive and an intuitionistic fragment of dynamic epistemic logic. I  applied these logics to reason about epistemic scenarios such as learning by communication and navigation.

The above have been joint work with (in alphabetical order): Abramsky, Balkir, Casadio, Clark, Coecke, Grefenstette, Kartsaklisk, Milajevs, Pulman, Purver, Preller, Roelleke (for the linguistics part) and Baltag, Coecke, Dyckhoff, Panagaden, Pardo, Philips, Precup, Truffault (for the dynamic epistemic part).

Topics of Interest
Compositional Distributional Semantics
Category Theoretical Models of Natural Language
Pregroup Grammars, Vector Space Models
Dynamic Epistemic Logic, Algebra , Coalgebra and Proof Theory

I am a member of  the following groups in Queen Mary:

I am in the PC of:
  • Conference on Formal Grammar 2016
  • Conference on Mathematics of Language (MoL) 2015
  • FoLLI's E.W.S. Beth Dissertation Prize committee 2015
  • Series of Workshops on Quantum Physics and Logic (QPL)
  • Conference on Computability in Europe (CiE)
  • Series of conferences on Quantum Interactions (QI)
  • Series of workshops on Continuous Vector Space Models and their Compositionality (CVSC)
  • I have refereed for Logic in CS and Computational Linguistics journals such as TCS, MSCS, JoLLI, Entropy, JLC, CL, etc.
I have been a co-organizer of:

Edited Volume

  • Clothes Network Ltd: Compositional vector methods for request classification, with FayiMora Femi-Balogun.
  • AFSOR project: Algorithmic and Logical Aspects when Computing Meanings.
  • EPSRC project:  New Foundational Structures for Engineering Verified multi-UAV's.
  • EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellowship: Foundational Structures for Compositional Meaning.
  • Done: EPSRC Postdoctoral Fellowship: (AlCoSeK) Alegbraic and Coalgebraic Semantics for Knowledge.
Invited Talks

I have also given talks in the folloiwng by-invitation-only workshops and conferences

Recent Papers  (for more please see  my google scholar page)
  1.  IR meets NLP: On the Semantic Similarity between Subject-Verb-Object Phrases, Dmitrijs Milajevs, Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh, Thomas Roelleke, ACM SIGIR International Conference on the Theory of Information Retrieval (ICTIR), USA, 2015. 
  2. A Frobenius Model of Information Structure in Categorical Compositional Distributional Semantics. Dimitri Kartsaklis, Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh. 14th Meeting on the Mathematics of Language (MoL), 2015.
  3. Open System Categorical Quantum Semantics in Natural Language Processing. Robin Piedeleu, Dimitri Kartsaklis, Bob Coecke, Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh, Conference on Algebra and Coalgebra in Computer Science (CALCO), 2015.
  4. Evaluating Neural Word Representations in Tensor-Based Compositional Settings, Dmitrijs Milajevs, Dimitri Kartsaklis, Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh, Matthew Purver, 2014 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP), Qatar, October 2014.
  5. Resolving Lexical Ambiguity in Tensor Regression Models of Meaning, Dimitri Kartsaklis, Nal Kalchbrenner and Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh, In Proceedings of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL): Short Papers. Baltimore‚ USA, June, 2014. 
  6. Concrete Models and Empirical Evaluations for the Categorical Compositional Distributional Model of Meaning, Ed Grefenstette, Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh, Journal of Computational Linguistics, Volume 41, Pages 71-118, March 2015.
  7. A Low-Level Treatment of Generalized Quantifiers in Categorical Compositional Distributional Semantics, Ondrej Rypacek and Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh, Second Workshop on Natural Language and Computer Science, A workshop affiliated with the joint meeting of Computer Science Logic (CSL) and Logic in Computer Science (LiCS), Vienna, July 2014. 
  8. Word Order Alternations in Sanskrit via Precyclicity in Pregroup Grammars, Claudia Casadio and Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh, In Horizons of the Mind, Essays dedicated to Prakash Panangaden on the occasion of his 60th birthday, LNCS 8464, May 2014. 
  9. A Study of Entanglement in a Categorical Model of Natural Language, Dimitri Kartsaklis and Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh,  11th workshop on Quantum Logic and Physics (QPL), Kyoto University, June 2014. arXiv:1405.2874.
  10. Semantic Unification: a sheaf theoretic approach to natural language, Samson Abramsky and Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh, In: Catgories and Types in Logic, Language, and Physics, Essays dedicated to Jim Lambek on the occasion of his 90th birthday, Casadio et al (eds.), LNCS 8222, pages 1- 13, 2014. arXiv:1403.3351
  11. Algebraic Semantics and Model Completeness for Intuitionistic Public Announcement Logic, Minghui Ma, Alessandra Palmigiano and Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh, Annals of Pure and Applied Logic, Volume 165, Pages 963--995, 2014.
  12. The Frobenius anatomy of word meanings II: possessive relative pronouns, Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh, Stephen Clark, Bob Coecke, Journal of Logic and Computation, Essays dedicated to Roy Dyckhoff on the occasion of his retirement, S. Graham-Lengrand and D. Galmiche (eds.), doi: 10.1093/logcom/exu027, 2014.
Ph.D. Students
  • Edward Grefenstette (graduated, Oxford,  with Profs Coecke and Pulman)
  • Pere Pardo (graduated, Barcelona, with Prof Godo)
  • Dimitri Kartsaklis (graduated, Oxford, with Profs Coecke and Pulman)
  • Dmitrijs Milajevs (QMUL, with Dr Purver)
  • Esma Balkir (QMUL)
Current Teaching (2013-2014 and 2014-2015)
  • Computability ECS 613 U, EECS, QMUL, joint with Greta Yorsh

Past Teaching and Organization

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