Singh, Mittul; Greenberg, Clayton; Oualil, Youssef; Klakow, Dietrich

Sub-Word Similarity based Search for Embeddings: Inducing Rare-Word Embeddings for Word Similarity Tasks and Language Modelling

Proceedings of COLING 2016, the 26th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers, The COLING 2016 Organizing Committee, Osaka, Japan, 2016.

Training good word embeddings requires large amounts of data. Out-of-vocabulary words will still be encountered at test-time, leaving these words without embeddings. To overcome this lack of embeddings for rare words, existing methods leverage morphological features to generate embeddings. While the existing methods use computationally-intensive rule-based (Soricut and Och, 2015) or tool-based (Botha and Blunsom, 2014) morphological analysis to generate embeddings, our system applies a computationally-simpler sub-word search on words that have existing embeddings.

Embeddings of the sub-word search results are then combined using string similarity functions to generate rare word embeddings. We augmented pre-trained word embeddings with these novel embeddings and evaluated on a rare word similarity task, obtaining up to 3 times improvement in correlation over the original set of embeddings. Applying our technique to embeddings trained on larger datasets led to on-par performance with the existing state-of-the-art for this task. Additionally, while analysing augmented embeddings in a log-bilinear language model, we observed up to 50% reduction in rare word perplexity in comparison to other more complex language models.