16th AIAI 2020, 5 -7 June 2020, Greece

On the Learnability of Concepts With Applications to Comparing Word EmbeddingAlgorithms

Adam Sutton, Nello Cristianini


  Word Embeddings are used widely in multiple Natural Language Processing (NLP) applications. They are coordinates associated with each word in a dictionary, inferred from statistical properties of these words in a large corpus. In this paper we introduce the notion of ``concept'' as a list of words that have shared semantic content. We use this notion to analyse the learnability of certain concepts, defined as the capability of a classifier to recognise unseen members of a concept after training on a random subset of it. We first use this method to measure the learnability of concepts on pretrained word embeddings. We then develop a statistical analysis of concept learnability, based on hypothesis testing and ROC curves, in order to compare the relative merits of various embedding algorithms using a fixed corpora and hyper parameters. We find that all embedding methods capture the semantic content of those word lists, but fastText performs better than the others.  

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