Unsupervised Phrasal Near-Synonym Generation from Text Corpora
Keywords:Phrasal Synonyms, Paraphrase Acquisition, Monolingual Corpora, Distributional Similarity
Unsupervised discovery of synonymous phrases is useful in a variety of tasks ranging from text mining and search engines to semantic analysis and machine translation. This paper presents an unsupervised corpus-based conditional model: Near-Synonym System (NeSS) for finding phrasal synonyms and near synonyms that requires only a large monolingual corpus. The method is based on maximizing information-theoretic combinations of shared contexts and is parallelizable for large-scale processing. An evaluation framework with crowd-sourced judgments is proposed and results are compared with alternate methods, demonstrating considerably superior results to the literature and to thesaurus look up for multi-word phrases. Moreover, the results show that the statistical scoring functions and overall scalability of the system are more important than language specific NLP tools. The method is language-independent and practically useable due to accuracy and real-time performance via parallel decomposition.