CSEE Seminar Series - Word Sense Clusterability: one size does not fit all

  • Wed 21 Feb 18

    16:00 - 17:30

  • Colchester Campus


  • Event speaker

    Dr. Diana McCarthy

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    CSEE Seminar Series

  • Event organiser

    Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, School of

  • Contact details

Words often have multiple meanings. Research in computational linguistics either attempts to capture lexical ambiguity with representations of word sense or avoids the issue and represents words as amalgams of their respective meanings.

Where sense representations are used, there is a default assumption that a word token in context can be classified with one of the senses for that word; a tagging process known as word sense disambiguation. The ease of which man or machine can determine the senses  and apply them in the sense tagging task varies tremendously depending on the word. This variation reflects findings in linguistics that suggest word meaning lies on a continuum from clear cut cases of ambiguity through subtler cases of polysemy to vagueness. There are computational options for building softer, subtler more nuanced models of word sense but this brings additional complexity and effort, which begs the question - is this complexity worth it? In this talk I'll present work applying measures of clusterability to datasets with alternative annotations of word meaning to determine how readily a lemma partitions into senses. The motivation behind this work is to inform different representations depending on the nature of the ambiguity word.
 Dr. Diana McCarthy is an affiliated lecturer at the University of Cambridge, UK. She has been active in the field of computational linguistics for over 20 years and specialises in the field of computational lexical semantics. Along with various collaborators, she won best paper awards for her work on automatic detection of sense predominance and for compositionality modelling of compound nouns with distributional semantics. Prior to her affiliation at Cambridge, she held a Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellowship from the UK Royal Society at the University of Sussex from 2005 until 2009. From 2009 until 2012 she worked as a director and computational linguist for the research-led company 'Lexical Computing Ltd' whose main product is the Sketch Engine. 

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