Advanced Database Management System - Tutorials and Notes: Natural language processing question bank 02

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Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Natural language processing question bank 02

Why is it better to compute likelihood and probability values in log space?


Question:

Why is it better to computer likelihood and probability values in log space?


Answer:


Computing likelihood and probability values in log space solves the underflow problem (refer below). Moreover, when computing in log space, we can replace the multiplication operations by addition operations, which are usually faster than multiplication operations on a modern computer.

What is Underflow?

Joint probability distribution often involves multiplying small individual probabilities. Many probabilistic algorithms involve multiplying probabilities of individual data points that takes the result very close to zero. This is called as underflow.


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