CITS4012 Natural Language Processing

6 points
(see Timetable)

If this unit does not have an online alternative, then students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.

Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Online timetabled 100% Online Unit. NO campus face-to-face attendance is required to complete this unit. All study requirements are online only. Unit includes some synchronous components, with a requirement for students to participate online at specific times.
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
Natural Language has been and will remain as the most preferred way to store and transfer knowledge. More than 80% of electronic data in modern societies are generated and stored in textual format. How to process unstructured text to extract useful insights and support actionable decision making and discover the hidden treasure of collective intelligence is of enormous value. In this unit, we start with traditional text processing techniques using Regular Expressions and discuss the needs of text processing and normalisation. We then introduce fundamental pipelines of natural language processing (NLP), including part-of-speech tagging and various ways of sentence parsing, with the aim of introducing traditional text feature collection techniques for higher-level tasks such as sentiment or document classification. Building on the understanding of the pros and cons of feature-based NLP pipeline approaches, the unit moves onto the modern approach of deep learning for NLP, focusing on word vector representation, neural language models, and recurrent neural networks for NLP. The unit situates the techniques around major NLP tasks, including information extraction, sentiment detection, dialogue systems and machine translation.
Students are able to (1) apply pre-processing techniques for textual data preparation; (2) build pipelines for core NLP tasks; (3) critically analyse different language models; (4) explain how vector representations of words can be obtained; (5) evaluate performance of NLP solutions, both traditional and neural; and (6) undertake core components of major NLP tasks.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) programming assignment and (2) final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Wei Liu
Unit rules
enrolment in Bachelor of Advanced Computer Science [Honours] or Master of Data Science and 12 points of programming based-units.
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; laboratories: 2 hours per week.
CITS4012 will only be offered in Semester 1 from 2022.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.