Learning Numeral EmbeddingDownload PDF

25 Sep 2019 (modified: 24 Dec 2019)ICLR 2020 Conference Blind SubmissionReaders: Everyone
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  • Keywords: Natural Language Processing, Numeral Embedding, Word Embedding, Out-of-vocabulary Problem
  • TL;DR: We propose two methods for learning better numeral embeddings that solve the numeral out-of-vocabulary (OOV) problem and can be integrated into traditional word embedding training methods.
  • Abstract: Word embedding is an essential building block for deep learning methods for natural language processing. Although word embedding has been extensively studied over the years, the problem of how to effectively embed numerals, a special subset of words, is still underexplored. Existing word embedding methods do not learn numeral embeddings well because there are an infinite number of numerals and their individual appearances in training corpora are highly scarce. In this paper, we propose two novel numeral embedding methods that can handle the out-of-vocabulary (OOV) problem for numerals. We first induce a finite set of prototype numerals using either a self-organizing map or a Gaussian mixture model. We then represent the embedding of a numeral as a weighted average of the prototype number embeddings. Numeral embeddings represented in this manner can be plugged into existing word embedding learning approaches such as skip-gram for training. We evaluated our methods and showed its effectiveness on four intrinsic and extrinsic tasks: word similarity, embedding numeracy, numeral prediction, and sequence labeling.
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