The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Pattern Generation

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Authors

SOJKA Petr SOJKA Ondřej

Year of publication 2019
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source TUGboat: The Communications of the TeX Users Group
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Informatics

Citation
Web
Keywords hyphenation; pattern generation; word list database; multilingual typesetting; patgen
Description Languages are constantly evolving, and so are their hyphenation rules and needs. The effectiveness and utility of TeX’s hyphenation have been proven by its usage in almost all typesetting systems in use today. The current Czech hyphenation patterns were generated in 1995, and no hyphenated word database was freely available. We have developed a new Czech word database and have used the patgen program to generate new effective Czech hyphenation patterns efficiently and evaluated their generalization qualities. We have achieved full coverage on the training dataset of 3,000,000 words and developed a validation procedure of new patterns for Czech based on the testing database of 105,000 words approved by the Czech Academy of Science linguists. Our pattern generation case study exemplifies a practical solution to the widespread dictionary problem. The study has proved the versatility, effectiveness, and extensibility of Liang’s approach to hyphenation developed for TeX. The unreasonable effectiveness of pattern technology has led to applications that are and will be used, even more widely now, nearly 40 years after its inception.
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