Firearms and Tigers are Dangerous, Kitchen Knives and Zebras are Not: Testing whether Word Embeddings Can Tell

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Abstract

This paper presents an approach for investigating the nature of semantic information captured by word embeddings. We propose a method that extends an existing humanelicited semantic property dataset with gold negative examples using crowd judgments. Our experimental approach tests the ability of supervised classifiers to identify semantic features in word embedding vectors and compares this to a feature-identification method
based on full vector cosine similarity. The idea behind this method is that properties identified by classifiers, but not through full vector comparison are captured by embeddings. Properties that cannot be identified by either method are not. Our results provide an initial indication that semantic properties relevant for the way entities interact (e.g. dangerous) are captured, while perceptual information (e.g. colors) is not represented. We conclude that, though preliminary, these results show that our method is suitable for identifying which properties are captured by embeddings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe 2018 EMNLP Workshop BlackboxNLP: Analyzing and Interpreting Neural Networks for NLP
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the First Workshop
Place of PublicationBrussels
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Pages276-286
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781948087711
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

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