# Background

In previous parts of my project, I built different **n-gram models** to predict the probability of each word in a given text. This probability is estimated using an n-gram — a sequence of words of length n — which contains the word. The below formula shows how the probability of the word “dream” is estimated as part of the trigram “have a dream”:

We train the n-gram models on the book “A Game of Thrones” by George R. R. Martin (called *train*). We then evaluate the models on two texts: “A Clash of Kings” by the same author (called *dev1*), and “Gone with the Wind” — a book from a completely different author, genre, and time (called *dev2*).

The metric to evaluate the language model is **average log-likelihood**: the average of the log probability that the model assigns to each word in the evaluation text.

Often, the log of base 2 is applied to each probability, as is the case in the first two parts of the project. Nevertheless, in this part, I will use a natural log, as it makes it simpler to derive the formulas that we will be using.

# Problem

In part 2, the various n-gram models — from unigram to 5-gram — were evaluated on the evaluation texts (*dev1* and *dev2*, see graphs below).

From this, we notice that:

**The Bigram model**performs slightly better than the**unigram model**. This is because the previous word to the bigram can provide important context to predict the probability of the next word.- Surprisingly,
**the trigram model and up**is much worse than bigram or unigram models. This is largely due to the high number of trigrams, 4-grams, and 5-grams that appear in the evaluation texts but nowhere in the training text. Hence, their predicted probability is zero. - For most n-gram models, their performance is slightly improved when we interpolate their predicted probabilities with the
**uniform model**. This seems rather counter-intuitive since the uniform model simply assigns equal probability to every word. However, as explained in part 1, interpolating with this “dumb” model reduces the overfit and variance of the n-gram models, helping them generalize better to the evaluation texts.

In this part of the project, we can extend model interpolation even further: instead of separately combining each n-gram model with the uniform, we can **interpolate different n-gram models with one another**, along with the uniform model.

# What to interpolate?

The first question to ask when interpolating multiple models together is:

Which n-gram models should we interpolate together to give the best result on the evaluation texts?

To answer this question, we use the simple strategy outlined below:

- First, we start with the
**uniform model**. This model will have very low average log-likelihoods on the evaluation texts since it assigns every word in the text the same probability. - Next, we interpolate this uniform model with the
**unigram model**and re-evaluate it on the evaluation texts. We naively assume that the models will have equal contribution to the interpolated model. As a result, each model will have the same interpolation weight of 1/2. - We then add the
**bigram model**to the mix. Similarly, in this 3-model interpolation, each model will simply have the same interpolation weight of 1/3. - We keep adding
**higher n-gram models**to the mix while keeping the mixture weights the same across model, until we reach the 5-gram model. After each addition, the combined model will be evaluated against the two evaluation texts,*dev1*and*dev2*.

# Coding the interpolation

In part 2, each evaluation text had a corresponding probability matrix. This matrix has 6 columns — one for each model — and each row of the matrix represents the probability estimates of each word under the 6 models. However, since we want to optimize the model performance on both evaluation texts, we will vertically concatenate these probability matrices into one big evaluation probability matrix (803176 rows × 6 columns):