Word Vector Representations using Shallow Neural Networks

Sammanfattning: This work highlights some important factors for consideration when developing word vector representations and data-driven conversational systems. The neural network methods for creating word embeddings have gained more prominence than their older, count-based counterparts.However, there are still challenges, such as prolonged training time and the need for more data, especially with deep neural networks. Shallow neural networks with lesser depth appear to have the advantage of less complexity, however, they also face challenges, such as sub-optimal combination of hyper-parameters which produce sub-optimal models. This work, therefore, investigates the following research questions: "How importantly do hyper-parameters influence word embeddings’ performance?" and "What factors are important for developing ethical and robust conversational systems?" In answering the questions, various experiments were conducted using different datasets in different studies. The first study investigates, empirically, various hyper-parameter combinations for creating word vectors and their impact on a few natural language processing (NLP) downstream tasks: named entity recognition (NER) and sentiment analysis (SA). The study shows that optimal performance of embeddings for downstream \acrshort{nlp} tasks depends on the task at hand.It also shows that certain combinations give strong performance across the tasks chosen for the study. Furthermore, it shows that reasonably smaller corpora are sufficient or even produce better models in some cases and take less time to train and load. This is important, especially now that environmental considerations play prominent role in ethical research. Subsequent studies build on the findings of the first and explore the hyper-parameter combinations for Swedish and English embeddings for the downstream NER task. The second study presents the new Swedish analogy test set for evaluation of Swedish embeddings. Furthermore, it shows that character n-grams are useful for Swedish, a morphologically rich language. The third study shows that broad coverage of topics in a corpus appears to be important to produce better embeddings and that noise may be helpful in certain instances, though they are generally harmful. Hence, relatively smaller corpus can show better performance than a larger one, as demonstrated in the work with the smaller Swedish Wikipedia corpus against the Swedish Gigaword. The argument is made, in the final study (in answering the second question) from the point of view of the philosophy of science, that the near-elimination of the presence of unwanted bias in training data and the use of foralike the peer-review, conferences, and journals to provide the necessary avenues for criticism and feedback are instrumental for the development of ethical and robust conversational systems.

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