Automatic Supervised Thesauri Construction with Roget’s Thesaurus

Title: Automatic Supervised Thesauri Construction with Roget’s Thesaurus
Authors: Kennedy, Alistair H
Date: 2012
Abstract: Thesauri are important tools for many Natural Language Processing applications. Roget's Thesaurus is particularly useful. It is of high quality and has been in development for over a century and a half. Yet its applications have been limited, largely because the only publicly available edition dates from 1911. This thesis proposes and tests methods of automatically updating the vocabulary of the 1911 Roget’s Thesaurus. I use the Thesaurus as a source of training data in order to learn from Roget’s for the purpose of updating Roget’s. The lexicon is updated in two stages. First, I develop a measure of semantic relatedness that enhances existing distributional techniques. I improve existing methods by using known sets of synonyms from Roget’s to train a distributional measure to better identify near synonyms. Second, I use the new measure of semantic relatedness to find where in Roget’s to place a new word. Existing words from Roget’s are used as training data to tune the parameters of three methods of inserting words. Over 5000 new words and word-senses were added using this process. I conduct two kinds of evaluation on the updated Thesaurus. One is on the procedure for updating Roget’s. This is accomplished by removing some words from the Thesaurus and testing my system's ability to reinsert them in the correct location. Human evaluation of the newly added words is also performed. Annotators must determine whether a newly added word is in the correct location. They found that in most cases the new words were almost indistinguishable from those already existing in Roget's Thesaurus. The second kind of evaluation is to establish the usefulness of the updated Roget’s Thesaurus on actual Natural Language Processing applications. These applications include determining semantic relatedness between word pairs or sentence pairs, identifying the best synonym from a set of candidates, solving SAT-style analogy problems, pseudo-word-sense disambiguation, and sentence ranking for text summarization. The updated Thesaurus consistently performed at least as well or better the original Thesaurus on all these applications.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -