Random crossings in dependency trees
Rights accessOpen Access
It has been hypothesized that the rather small number of crossings in real syntactic dependency trees is a side-effect of pressure for dependency length minimization. Here we answer a related important research question: what would be the expected number of crossings if the natural order of a sentence was lost and replaced by a random ordering? We show that this number depends only on the number of vertices of the dependency tree (the sentence length) and the second moment about zero of vertex degrees. The expected number of crossings is minimum for a star tree (crossings are impossible) and maximum for a linear tree (the number of crossings is of the order of the square of the sequence length).
CitationFerrer-i-Cancho, R. Random crossings in dependency trees. "Glottometrics", 1 Març 2017, vol. 37, p. 1-12.