Anssi Yli-Jyrä


Description of research and teaching


"Finite-State Models as a Fundamental Methology in Natural Language Processing"



Application Areas in Natural Language Processing

  • Finite-State Methods:
    • Applications of Finite-State Transducers 
    • Rule Systems in Phonology, Morphology and Syntax
    • Finite-State Algorithms and Libraries in CLARIN
  • Tree banks and Bilingual Corpora:
    • Computational Dependency Grammars
    • Aligned Corpora (Hebrew-Greek-Finnish)
    • Dependency Forest Based Machine Translation

Basic Research Areas

  • Automata Theory
    • Compilers for Finite-State Rules, Constraints and Grammars
    • Construction and Minimization of Automata
    • Weighted Automata over Semirings or Strong Bimonoids
    • Unambiguously Recognizable Counter Functions
  • Formal Language Theory:
    • Subregular Languages
    • Mildly Context-Sensitive Dependency Grammars
    • Arbology: Extensions of Pushdown Machines and Linearized Representation of Trees
    • Dependency Tree Transducers
  • Finite-Model Theory:
    • Monadic Second-Order Logic and Automata
    • Weighted Logic

Education information


  • Teacher's Qualification (University Pedagogics), University of Helsinki, 2006-2014
  • Title of Docent in Language Technology  (University of Helsinki), 2006
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Helsinki, 2005 (language technology)
  • Second Master's Degree in Computer Science, University of Helsinki, 2005
  • Master of Arts in Computational Linguistics, University of Helsinki, 1997


Affiliation Expiration30/04/2019

Curriculum Vitae


  • Title of Docent, Language Technology, University of Helsinki, Finland, 2006
  • PhD in Language Technology, University of Helsinki, Finland, 13/9/2005
  • MSc (secondary) in Computer Science, University of Helsinki, Finland, 2005
  • MA in Computational Linguistics, University of Helsinki, Finland, 1997

Current and Previous Positions

  • Academy Research Fellow (extended – 4/2019), University of Helsinki, 9/2013 – now
  • Deputy Professor of Language Technology, University of Helsinki, 8/2012 – 7/2013
  • University Researcher, University of Helsinki, 2008 – 2012
  • Application Specialist, CSC - IT Centre for Science, Finland, 1998 – 2008
  • PhD Student in Language Technology (on leave from CSC), U. Helsinki, Finland, 2002 – 2004
  • Research Adjunct in Computational Linguistics, University of Helsinki, Finland, 1997 – 1998
  • System Analyst, Bible Encyclopedia Publ. (Raamatun Tietokirja/AikaMedia), Finland, 1992 – 1997 


  • Visiting Scholar (2 months) at the Inf. Sciences Institute, U. Southern California, USA, 2017
  • Academy Research Fellow, Academy of Finland, Finland, 2013 – 2018
  • Visiting Professor (1 week) at teh Inf.Sc.Dept., U. Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2013
  • Visiting Fellow (1 year), Clare Hall college, University of Cambridge, UK 2013 – 2014
  • Acad.Visitor (1 year) at the Machine Intelligence Lab., Dept.Eng., Univ. Cambridge2013 – 2014
  • Visiting Professor (2 weeks) at the Inst. Kiswahili Studies, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 2012
  • Postdoc Research Fellow, Academy of Finland, Finland, 2009 – 2011
  • Visiting Fellow (2 weeks) at the School of Mathematics, Georgia Technical U., USA, 2008
  • Postdoc Fellow (2 months) at the Budapest U. Technology and Economics, Hungary, 2007
  • PhD Scholarship, Nordic Academy of Advanced Study, Norway, 2002 – 2004 

Participation of Supervision of Graduate Students and Postdoc Fellows

  • Razie Ehsani (Visiting PostGrad/PostDoc, IşıkU), Finite-State Translation of Azerbaijani (advisor), 2018 
  • Uliana Petrunina (Visiting PostGrad, UTromsø), Weighted Disamb. of Russian Participles (co-advisor), 2/2018 – now
  • Jack Rueter (Post Doc, UH), UniversalDependency Syntax for Erzya (PI), 2017
  • Aarne Talma (PostGrad, UH), Deep Learning and Natural Language Inference (co-advisor), 2018 – now
  • Josi Purhonen (Master Student, UH), Synchronization of Morph. Analysed Editions of the Hebrew and Greek Bible, 2018–now
  • Miikka Silfverberg (PostGrad) (co-advisor) 2008–2016
  • 4 Masters students, UH, 2008–2016
  • Helsinki Language Technology Group (co-advisor), 2017–
  • Helsinki FST Technology Group, UH (co-advisor), 2008 –2013

Teaching Activities

  • Qualification, University Pedagogics (60 cr), University of Helsinki, Finland, 2015
  • ”Qualified for the associate professorship”, DTU Compute, Danmark, 2014
  • International Teaching at U. Cambridge (UK) and T.U. Darmstadt (Germany), 2013 – 2014
  • Pre-Conference Tutorial presenter, ACL 2014, Bulgaria, 2013
  • Deputy Professor in Lang.Technology, Dept.Modern Languages, U.Helsinki, Finland, 2012 – 2013
  • Local courses in Language Technology, U.Helsinki, Finland, 1994 – 14 different

 Organisation of International Scientific Meetings

  • PC Co-chair of TWOLDAY 2005, FSMNLP 2008, FSMNLP 2009
  • OC Chair of FSMNLP 2005

Institutional Responsibilities

  • Debuty Head of Language Technology (2012–2013), U.Helsinki, Finland
  • Board member of the Department of General Linguistics (1998 – 1999), U.Helsinki, Finland

Commissions of Trust

  • Advisory Board member (2012–), SIGFSM, Assoc. for Comp. Linguistics, USA
  • Co-applicant (nominated), Proposal for a Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop, Germany
  • Co-founder (1997), Calfat Oy, Finland
  • Consultant member (2008–), Wycliffe Bible Translators, Finland
  • Coordinator of the Language Bank of Finland (2005 – 2007), CSC - IT Centre for Science, Finland
  • Evaluator for a Lecturer Position, UK
  • Founder and President of SIGFSM (2009–2012), Assoc. for Comp. Linguistics, USA
  • Guest Editor (for journals) Cambridge U.Press, Springer, CSLI Publications, IOS Press
  • Program Committee member with reviewing duties, premium venues in Comp.Sc. and Comp.Linguistics (selected): ACL 2012–2017, FSMNLP 2005–2017, SCiL 2018, IJCNLP 2013–2017, Swedish LT Confer- ence 2017, Math. of Language 2017/2015/2013; IWCLUL 2015; Human Lang. Technology 2012; Empirical Methods in NLP 2014, FormalGrammar 2007/2006; Recent Advances in NLP 2011, NoDaLiDa 2007.
  • Referee (proposals): Nat.Res.Found. (S.Africa), E.Aaltonen F., Wihuri F., Kone F., O. Öflund F. (Finland), Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (Sweden), Lang.Bank of Finland; Finnish Nat. Electronic Library (Finland)
  • Referee (for journals): Natural Language Engineering (Cambridge), J. Logic and Computation (Oxford), Oxford Handbook of Comp.Linguistics (Oxford), J.Lang.Modeling (OASPA), Int.J.Foundations Comp.Sci. (World Scientific), SKY Journal (The Ling.Assoc.of Finland), Nordic J. African Languages (U. Helsinki), CSLI Studies in Comp.Linguistics ONLINE (CSLI Publications), Lang. Res. and Evaluation (Springer)
  • Standardisation Committee member (IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2 2006 – 2007), ISO
  • Supervisor Pool member (2008–) of the LANGNET Graduate School, Finland

Membership in Scientific Societies, Networks and Associations

  • PI Board Member of BAULT - a multidisciplinary research community at the University of Helsinki (2010–) •
  • PI Member of the HLG Community, the Helsinki Logic Group (2010–)
  • Member of the Association of Computational Linguistics (ACL)
  • Northern European Association for Language Technology (NEALT)
  • Member of ACL Special Interest Group on Finite-State Methods (SIGFSM)

 Major Research Collaborations

  • Kevin Knight, RNN Language Models, Information Sciences Inst., U.Southern California, USA
  • Trond Trosterud, Constraint Grammar, University of Tromsø, Norway
  • Edward Gibson, Sentence Processing, TedLab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  • Carlos Gómez-Rodríguez, Nonprojective Parsing, Dept. Computer Science, U. A Coruña, Spain
  • Mark-Jan Nederhof, Discontinuous Parsing, School of Com.Sc., U. St. Andrews, UK
  • Hellis Tamm, Quotient/Átomata theory, Inst.Cybernetics, Tallinn University of Technology
  • Bill Byrne, Automata in Machine Translation, Mach.Intell.Lab., Univ. Cambridge
  • Bruce Watson, Algorithm Taxonomies, Comp.Sc.Department, U.Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • András Kornai, Extended Finite-State Translations, Budapest Institute of Technology, Hungary

Latest publications

  1. Accepted/In press

    Forgotten Islands of Regularity in Phonology

    Yli-Jyrä, A. M., 2019, (Accepted/In press) Festschrift.... 18 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

  2. Optimal Kornai-Karttunen Codes for Restricted Autosegmental Representations

    Yli-Jyrä, A. M., 2019, Tokens of Meaning: Papers in Honor of Lauri Karttunen. Condoravdi, C. & Holloway King, T. (eds.). Stanford: Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI)

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

  3. Bounded-Depth High-Coverage Search Space for Noncrossing Parses

    Yli-Jyrä, A. M., 4 Sep 2017, Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Finite State Methods and Natural Language Processing: FSMNLP 2017. Drewes, F. (ed.). Stroudsburg: Association for Computational Linguistics, p. 30-40 11 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Latest activities

  1. Galina Jiraskova

    Anssi Yli-Jyrä (Host)
    6 Dec 201813 Dec 2018

    Activity: Hosting a visitor typesAcademic visit at UH

  2. Embedding Properties of Graphs to the String Space (talk at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem)

    Anssi Yli-Jyrä (Speaker)
    7 Nov 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

  3. Computational Complexity and Recurrent Neural Networks – A New, Practical Perspective (talk at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem)

    Anssi Yli-Jyrä (Speaker)
    1 Nov 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

View all (110) »

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