Auto-Encoding Dictionary Definitions into Consistent Word Embeddings

Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)


Monolingual dictionaries are widespread and semantically rich resources. This paper presents a simple model that learns to compute word embeddings by processing dictionary definitions and trying to reconstruct them. It exploits the inherent recursivity of dictionaries by encouraging consistency between the representations it uses as inputs and the representations it produces as outputs. The resulting embeddings are shown to capture semantic similarity better than regular distributional methods and other dictionary-based methods. In addition, the method shows strong performance when trained exclusively on dictionary data and generalizes in one shot.

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