Improving the state-of-the-art in Thai semantic similarity using distributional semantics and ontological information

Ponrudee Netisopakul, Gerhard Wohlgenannt, Aleksei Pulich, Zar Zar Hlaing
2021 PLoS ONE  
Research into semantic similarity has a long history in lexical semantics, and it has applications in many natural language processing (NLP) tasks like word sense disambiguation or machine translation. The task of calculating semantic similarity is usually presented in the form of datasets which contain word pairs and a human-assigned similarity score. Algorithms are then evaluated by their ability to approximate the gold standard similarity scores. Many such datasets, with different
more » ... ifferent characteristics, have been created for English language. Recently, four of those were transformed to Thai language versions, namely WordSim-353, SimLex-999, SemEval-2017-500, and R&G-65. Given those four datasets, in this work we aim to improve the previous baseline evaluations for Thai semantic similarity and solve challenges of unsegmented Asian languages (particularly the high fraction of out-of-vocabulary (OOV) dataset terms). To this end we apply and integrate different strategies to compute similarity, including traditional word-level embeddings, subword-unit embeddings, and ontological or hybrid sources like WordNet and ConceptNet. With our best model, which combines self-trained fastText subword embeddings with ConceptNet Numberbatch, we managed to raise the state-of-the-art, measured with the harmonic mean of Pearson on Spearman ρ, by a large margin from 0.356 to 0.688 for TH-WordSim-353, from 0.286 to 0.769 for TH-SemEval-500, from 0.397 to 0.717 for TH-SimLex-999, and from 0.505 to 0.901 for TWS-65.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0246751 pmid:33596220 fatcat:dbhhgbgsercfdelglgycdaesxu