New experiments in distributional representations of synonymy


Freitag D., Blume M., Byrnes J., Chow E., Kapadia S., Rohwer R., Wang Z. New experiments in distributional representations of synonymy, in Proceedings of CoNLL 05, 2005.


Recent work on the problem of detecting synonymy through corpus analysis has used the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) as a benchmark. However, this test involves as few as 80 questions, prompting questions regarding the statistical significance of reported results. We overcome this limitation by generating a TOEFL-like test using WordNet, containing thousands of questions and composed only of words occurring with sufficient corpus frequency to support sound distributional comparisons. Experiments with this test lead us to a similarity measure which significantly outperforms the best proposed to date. Analysis suggests that a strength of this measure is its relative robustness against polysemy.

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