Semantics on the basis of words' connectivity
Two Brazilian physicists have now devised a method to automatically elucidate the meaning of words with several senses, based solely on their patterns of connectivity with nearby words in a given sentence -- and not on semantics. Thiago Silva and Diego Amancio from the University of São Paulo, Brazil, reveal, in a paper about to be published in The European Physical Journal B,, how they modelled classics texts as complex networks in order to derive their meaning. This type of model plays a key role in several natural processing language tasks such as machine translation, information retrieval, content analysis and text processing. In this study, the authors chose a set of ten so-called polysemous words -- words with multiple meanings -- such as bear, jam, just, rock or present. They then verified their patterns of connectivity with nearby words in the text of literary classics such as Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Specifically, they established a model that consisted of a set of nodes representing words connected by their "edges," if they are adjacent in a text.
The authors then compared the results of their disambiguation exercise with the traditional semantic-based approach. They observed significant accuracy rates in identifying the suitable meanings when using both techniques. The approach described in this study, based on a so-called deterministic tourist walk characterisation, can therefore be considered a complementary methodology for distinguishing between word senses.
In future works, the authors are planning to devise new measures to connect not only adjacent words, but also words within a given interval in order to enhance the ability of the model to grasp semantic factors. This approach is supported by another recent study by the same authors, showing that traditional complex network measures mainly depend on the syntax.
Source: Springer Science+Business Media
- What's the semantic organization of human language?Tue, 11 Aug 2009, 9:51:53 EDT
- When the zebra loses its stripesMon, 20 Dec 2010, 10:06:05 EST
- Familiar and newly learned words are processed by the same neural networks in the brainSat, 29 Aug 2009, 1:34:33 EDT
- Predicting relationship breakups with a word-association taskWed, 7 Jul 2010, 15:37:45 EDT
- Psychopathic killers: Computerized text analysis uncovers the word patterns of a predator Fri, 14 Oct 2011, 17:02:42 EDT
- Identifying the meaning of words with multiple meanings, without using their semantic contextfrom PhysorgWed, 3 Jul 2013, 12:06:31 EDT
Latest Science NewsletterGet the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!
Check out our next project, Biology.Net
From other science news sites
Popular science news articles
- Graphene: Growing giants
- Penn researcher traces the history of the American urban squirrel
- Electrical brain stimulation may evoke a person's 'will to persevere'
- Frequent cell phone use linked to anxiety, lower grades and reduced happiness in students
- More logging, deforestation may better serve climate in some areas