Computer Laboratory

Diarmuid Ó Séaghdha

Interpreting compound nouns with kernel methods

Preprint PDF, Cambridge Journals Online

Diarmuid Ó Séaghdha and Ann Copestake

This paper presents a classification-based approach to noun–noun compound interpretation within the statistical learning framework of kernel methods. In this framework, the primary modelling task is to define measures of similarity between data items, formalised as kernel functions. We consider the different sources of information that are useful for understanding compounds and proceed to define kernels that compute similarity between compounds in terms of these sources. In particular, these kernels implement intuitive notions of lexical and relational similarity and can be computed using distributional information extracted from text corpora. We report performance on classification experiments with three semantic relation inventories at different levels of granularity, demonstrating in each case that combining lexical and relational information sources is beneficial and gives better performance than either source taken alone. The data used in our experiments are taken from general English text, but our methods are also applicable to other domains and potentially to other languages where noun–noun compounding is frequent and productive.

  author = 	 {Diarmuid {\'O S\'eaghdha} and Ann Copestake},
  title = 	 {Interpreting compound nouns with kernel methods},
  year =	 2013,
  journal =      {Journal of Natural Language Engineering},
  volume =       19,
  number =       3,
  pages =       {331--356}