Tilk, Ottokar; Demberg, Vera; Sayeed, Asad; Klakow, Dietrich; Thater, Stefan

Event participation modelling with neural networks

Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, Austin, Texas, USA, 2016.

A common problem in cognitive modelling is lack of access to accurate broad-coverage models of event-level surprisal. As shown in,
e.g., Bicknell et al. (2010), event-level knowledge does affect human expectations for verbal arguments. For example, the model should be able to predict that mechanics are likely to check tires, while journalists are more likely to check typos. Similarly, we would like to predict what locations are likely for playing football or playing flute in order to estimate the surprisal of actually-encountered locations. Furthermore, such a model can be used to provide a probability distribution over fillers for a thematic role which is not mentioned in the text at all.

To this end, we train two neural network models (an incremental one and a non-incremental one) on large amounts of automatically rolelabelled text. Our models are probabilistic and can handle several roles at once, which also enables them to learn interactions between different role fillers. Evaluation shows a drastic improvement over current state-of-the-art systems on modelling human thematic fit judgements, and we demonstrate via a sentence similarity task that the system learns highly useful embeddings.