Semi-supervised Learning with Induced Word Senses for State of the Art Word Sense Disambiguation

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Osman Başkaya
David Jurgens


Word Sense Disambiguation (WSD) aims to determine the meaning of a word in context, and successful approaches are known to benefit many applications in Natural Language Processing. Although supervised learning has been shown to provide superior WSD performance, current sense-annotated corpora do not contain a sufficient number of instances per word type to train supervised systems for all words. While unsupervised techniques have been proposed to overcome this data sparsity problem, such techniques have not outperformed supervised methods. In this paper, we propose a new approach to building semi-supervised WSD systems that combines a small amount of sense-annotated data with information from Word Sense Induction, a fully-unsupervised technique that automatically learns the different senses of a word based on how it is used. In three experiments, we show how sense induction models may be effectively combined to ultimately produce high-performance semi-supervised WSD systems that exceed the performance of state-of-the-art supervised WSD techniques trained on the same sense-annotated data. We anticipate that our results and released software will also benefit evaluation practices for sense induction systems and those working in low-resource languages by demonstrating how to quickly produce accurate WSD systems with minimal annotation effort.

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