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English into Braille translation using augmented transition networks

Cabrera Molina, J.J. (1985). English into Braille translation using augmented transition networks. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, The City University)


A program has been written which translates English into Braille grade II using a formal language approach. Braille is a system used by blind people and it is the counterpart of what inkprint is to sighted people. As such, it allows the representation of their language, and the provision of printed text”. There are two types of Braille: grade I, which is a direct one to one mapping of inkprint characters into Braille, and grade II, which involves the use of contractions and abbreviations of words, in order to reduce the bulk of the material translated. This is the one considered in this thesis.

In the last few years, a number of programs have been developed for Braille translation; however, due to the difficulties inherent in the translation process, the problem is not yet completely solved. Even the professional systems use human proofreaders to validate the automatic translation. This implementation for performing Braille translation considers the use of Augmented Transition Networks, which are a development of pushdown automata. Its main advantage is that it offers great computational power which permits the representation of translation rules and their exceptions to these in a direct way.

The translation program is written in PASCAL and uses a small amount of memory resources, providing portability among different mini and microprocessors. The translator performs at about 2700 words per minute on a PDP-11/70 under RSX/11M operating system with an accuracy of over 99%, at 620 words per minute on a Wicat microcomputer, or at 50 words per minute on an Apple. The translator is trainable, thus providing the possibility of easily including new translation rules and except ions to the existing ones by just altering the dictionary tables in a data file. There is no need to alter and recompile the program to handle the changes.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science
School of Science & Technology > School of Science & Technology Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses
[thumbnail of Cabrera Molina thesis 1985.pdf]
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