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Text Processing

As already mentioned in the introduction, in order to derive context attributes describing the terms we are interested in, we make use of syntactic dependencies between the verbs appearing in the text collection and the heads of the subject, object and PP-complements they subcategorize. In fact, in previous experiments [14] we found that using all these dependencies in general leads to better results than any subsets of them. In order to extract these dependencies automatically, we parse the text with LoPar, a trainable, statistical left-corner parser [54]. From the parse trees we then extract the syntactic dependencies between a verb and its subject, object and PP-complement by using tgrep5. Finally, we also lemmatize the verbs as well as the head of the subject, object and PP-complement by looking up the lemma in the lexicon provided with LoPar. Lemmatization maps a word to its base form and is in this context used as a sort of normalization of the text. Let's take for instance the following two sentences:
The museum houses an impressive collection of medieval and modern art. The building combines geometric abstraction with classical references that allude to the Roman influence on the region.
After parsing these sentences, we would extract the following syntactic dependencies:


By the lemmatization step, references is mapped to its base form reference and combines and houses to combine and house, respectively, such that we yield as a result:


In addition, there are three further important issues to consider:
  1. the output of the parser can be erroneous, i.e. not all derived verb/argument dependencies are correct,
  2. not all the derived dependencies are 'interesting' in the sense that they will help to discriminate between the different objects,
  3. the assumption of completeness of information will never be fulfilled, i.e. the text collection will never be big enough to find all the possible occurrences (compare [65]).
To deal with the first two problems, we weight the object/attribute pairs with regard to a certain information measure and only process further those verb/argument relations for which this measure is above some threshold $t$. In particular, we explore the following three information measures (see [19,14]):

& & Conditional(n,v_{arg}) = P(n\vert v_{arg})=\frac{f(n,v_{a...
... \\ \\
& & Resnik(n,v_{arg}) = S_R(v_{arg}) \, PMI(n,v_{arg})

where $S_R(v_{arg})=\sum_{n'} P(n'\vert v_{arg})   log\frac{P(n'\vert v_{arg})}{P(n')}$.
Furthermore, $f(n,v_{arg})$ is the total number of occurrences of a term $n$ as argument arg of a verb $v$, $f(v_{arg})$ is the number of occurrences of verb $v$ with such an argument and $P(n)$ is the relative frequency of a term $n$ compared to all other terms. The first information measure is simply the conditional probability of the term $n$ given the argument $arg$ of a verb $v$. The second measure $PMI(n,v)$ is the so called pointwise mutual information and was used by [34] for discovering groups of similar terms. The third measure is inspired by the work of [51] and introduces an additional factor $S_R(n,v_{arg})$ which takes into account all the terms appearing in the argument position $arg$ of the verb $v$ in question. In particular, the factor measures the relative entropy of the prior and posterior (considering the verb it appears with) distributions of $n$ and thus the 'selectional strength' of the verb at a given argument position. It is important to mention that in our approach the values of all the above measures are normalized into the interval [0,1]. The third problem requires smoothing of input data. In fact, when working with text corpora, data sparseness is always an issue [65]. A typical method to overcome data sparseness is smoothing [43] which in essence consists in assigning non-zero probabilities to unseen events. For this purpose we apply the technique proposed by [21] in which mutually similar terms are clustered with the result that an occurrence of an attribute with the one term is also counted as an occurrence of that attribute with the other term. As similarity measures we examine the Cosine, Jaccard, L1 norm, Jensen-Shannon divergence and Skew Divergence measures analyzed and described by [37]:

& & cos(t_1,t_2)=\frac{\sum_{v_{arg} \in V} P(t_1\vert v_{arg...
...t    \alpha \cdot P(t_1,V)    + (1-\alpha) \cdot P(t_2,V))

where $D(P_1(V) \,\, \vert\vert \,\, P_2(V)) = \sum_{v \in V} P_1(v) \,\, log \, \frac{P_1(v)}{P_2(v)}$ and $avg(t_1,t_2,v) = \frac{P(t_1\vert v) + P(t_2\vert v)}{2}$
In particular, we implemented these measures using the variants relying only on the elements $v_{arg}$ common to $t_1$ and $t_2$ as described by [37]. Strictly speaking, the Jensen-Shannon as well as the Skew divergences are dissimilarity functions as they measure the average information loss when using one distribution instead of the other. In fact we transform them into similarity measures as $k - f$, where $k$ is a constant and $f$ the dissimilarity function in question. We cluster all the terms which are mutually similar with regard to the similarity measure in question, counting more attribute/object pairs than are actually found in the text and thus obtaining also non-zero frequencies for some attribute/object pairs that do not appear literally in the corpus. The overall result is thus a 'smoothing' of the relative frequency landscape by assigning some non-zero relative frequencies to combinations of verbs and objects which were actually not found in the corpus. Here follows the formal definition of mutual similarity:

Definition 5 (Mutual Similarity)
Two terms $n_1$ and $n_2$ are mutually similar iff $n_2 = argmax_{n'}    sim(n_1,n')$ and
$n_1 = argmax_{n'}    sim(n_2,n')$.

According to this definition, two terms $n_1$ and $n_2$ are mutually similar if $n_1$ is the most similar term to $n_2$ with regard to the similarity measure in question and the other way round. Actually, the definition is equivalent to the reciprocal similarity of [34]. Figure 3 (left) shows an example of a lattice which was automatically derived from a set of texts acquired from as well as, a web page containing information about the history, accommodation facilities as well as activities of Mecklenburg Vorpommern, a region in northeast Germany. We only extracted verb/object pairs for the terms in Table 1 and used the conditional probability to weight the significance of the pairs. For excursion, no dependencies were extracted and therefore it was not considered when computing the lattice. The corpus size was about a million words and the threshold used was $t=0.005$. Assuming that car and bike are mutually similar, they would be clustered, i.e. car would get the attribute startable and bike the attribute needable. The result here is thus the lattice in Figure 3 (right), where car and bike are in the extension of one and the same concept.
Figure 3: Examples of lattices automatically derived from tourism-related texts without smoothing (left) and with smoothing (right)
\epsfig{file=tourismlatticeautomatic.eps, width=...
...urismlatticeautomaticsmoothing.eps, width=5.8cm}

next up previous
Next: Evaluation Up: Learning Concept Hierarchies from Previous: Formal Concept Analysis
Philipp Cimiano 2005-08-04