Simulated Annealing Optimality Theory
Thank you for visiting the demo web site of Simulated Annealing Optimality Theory (SA-OT).
I suppose that the reason you are visiting this site is that you have heard about Optimality Theory (Prince and Smolensky, 1993), as well as about Simulated Annealing Optimality Theory (SA-OT). If this is not the case, you are referred to the literature page.
The goal of this web site is to give linguists the opportunity to get acquainted with the SA-OT algorithm. Examples are offered with which you can experiment. Try changing the tableau, the hierarchy, but especially the neighbourhood structure (topology or geometry of the candidate set) and the parameters of the algorithm.
You can also run your own models, if they are simple enough. I plan to improve the present script so that it can handle more complex models, as well (using regular expressions). In the case of a finite candidate set, it is theoretically possible to enter each candidate independently. Nevertheless, you have to write your own program for a really huge, let alone an infinite candidate set.
You can run a simulation by specifying the constraints (that is, the unordered tableau), the neighbourhood structure, the hierarchy and the parameters of the simulation. But how should I fill in this form, if I do not have my own model yet? Among the examples, you will find some very simple models, demonstrating the behaviour of SA-OT. You will also find a page where the different neighbourhood structures and tableaux can be automatically generated for the Dutch metrical stress model presented in some of my publications. You can copy-paste these tableaux and topologies to the form that has to be filled in to run a simulation.
I would appreciate if you referred to this web site in the case you publish the simulation that you have run here.
The scripts are written in simple PHP. In order to save the computing capacities of my home institution, your simulation stops running after 30 seconds. You are, however, welcome to install a mirror of this site on your own machine. In that case, you can further develop the scripts, and even add your own ones. (Please, do not forget to give me some credits, as well.) I would be also happy to add your scripts to the examples on my site, by giving you the credit. Please, drop me an email if you are interested in the code of this web site.
I hope you will enjoy playing with SA-OT. I would be delighted to read your feedback.