Fast PMI-Based Word Embedding with Efficient Use of Unobserved Patterns


  • Behrouz Haji Soleimani Dalhousie University
  • Stan Matwin Dalhousie University



Continuous word representations that can capture the semantic information in the corpus are the building blocks of many natural language processing tasks. Pre-trained word embeddings are being used for sentiment analysis, text classification, question answering and so on. In this paper, we propose a new word embedding algorithm that works on a smoothed Positive Pointwise Mutual Information (PPMI) matrix which is obtained from the word-word co-occurrence counts. One of our major contributions is to propose an objective function and an optimization framework that exploits the full capacity of “negative examples”, the unobserved or insignificant wordword co-occurrences, in order to push unrelated words away from each other which improves the distribution of words in the latent space. We also propose a kernel similarity measure for the latent space that can effectively calculate the similarities in high dimensions. Moreover, we propose an approximate alternative to our algorithm using a modified Vantage Point tree and reduce the computational complexity of the algorithm to |V |log|V | with respect to the number of words in the vocabulary. We have trained various word embedding algorithms on articles of Wikipedia with 2.1 billion tokens and show that our method outperforms the state-of-the-art in most word similarity tasks by a good margin.




How to Cite

Soleimani, B. H., & Matwin, S. (2019). Fast PMI-Based Word Embedding with Efficient Use of Unobserved Patterns. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 33(01), 7031-7038.



AAAI Technical Track: Natural Language Processing