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# One common way probabilities are assigned to rules in a PCFG is to use a treebank. When will some rules have a probability of 0.0? What is the problem if some rule has a probability of 0.0? How can it be overcome?

### One common way probabilities are assigned to rules in a PCFG is to use a treebank. When will some rules have a probability of 0.0? What is the problem if some rule has a probability of 0.0? How can it be overcome?

When the tree bank has no instance of a rule among its derivation trees, then the rule will have a probability of 0.0.
The problem is that the probability for any parse tree using a rule with probability 0.0 will be 0.0 since the probability of the parse tree is obtained as a product of all rules in the parse. [Refer here for more]
The same smoothing methods used to handle zero counts in language models can be used here. For example, Laplace smoothing which starts with a count of 1 for all rules.

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