Unsupervised low-dimensional vector representations for words, phrases and text that are transparent, scalable, and produce similarity metrics that are not redundant with neural embeddings

Neil R. Smalheiser, Aaron M. Cohen, Gary Bonifield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Neural embeddings are a popular set of methods for representing words, phrases or text as a low dimensional vector (typically 50–500 dimensions). However, it is difficult to interpret these dimensions in a meaningful manner, and creating neural embeddings requires extensive training and tuning of multiple parameters and hyperparameters. We present here a simple unsupervised method for representing words, phrases or text as a low dimensional vector, in which the meaning and relative importance of dimensions is transparent to inspection. We have created a near-comprehensive vector representation of words, and selected bigrams, trigrams and abbreviations, using the set of titles and abstracts in PubMed as a corpus. This vector is used to create several novel implicit word-word and text-text similarity metrics. The implicit word-word similarity metrics correlate well with human judgement of word pair similarity and relatedness, and outperform or equal all other reported methods on a variety of biomedical benchmarks, including several implementations of neural embeddings trained on PubMed corpora. Our implicit word-word metrics capture different aspects of word-word relatedness than word2vec-based metrics and are only partially correlated (rho = 0.5–0.8 depending on task and corpus). The vector representations of words, bigrams, trigrams, abbreviations, and PubMed title + abstracts are all publicly available from http://arrowsmith.psych.uic.edu/arrowsmith_uic/word_similarity_metrics.html for release under CC-BY-NC license. Several public web query interfaces are also available at the same site, including one which allows the user to specify a given word and view its most closely related terms according to direct co-occurrence as well as different implicit similarity metrics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103096
JournalJournal of Biomedical Informatics
Volume90
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2019

Keywords

  • Dimensional reduction
  • Implicit features
  • Natural language processing
  • Pvtopic
  • Semantic similarity
  • Text mining
  • Vector representation
  • Word2vec

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Informatics

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