Ambiguous synonyms : Implementing an unsupervised WSD system for division of synonym clusters containing multiple senses

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Institutionen för datavetenskap

Abstract: When clustering together synonyms, complications arise in cases of the words having multiple senses as each sense’s synonyms are erroneously clustered together. The task of automatically distinguishing word senses in cases of ambiguity, known as word sense disambiguation (WSD), has been an extensively researched problem over the years. This thesis studies the possibility of applying an unsupervised machine learning based WSD-system for analysing existing synonym clusters (N = 149) and dividing them correctly when two or more senses are present. Based on sense embeddings induced from a large corpus, cosine similarities are calculated between sense embeddings for words in the clusters, making it possible to suggest divisions in cases where different words are closer to different senses of a proposed ambiguous word. The system output is then evaluated by four participants, all experts in the area. The results show that the system does not manage to correctly divide the clusters in more than 31% of the cases according to the participants. Moreover, it is discovered that some differences exist between the participants’ ratings, although none of the participants predominantly agree with the system’s division of the clusters. Evidently, further research and improvements are needed and suggested for the future.

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