WordNet integration notes

Francis's intro

Some colleagues at times sneer when we say we're doing deep linguistic processing, because MRS after all isn't very deep --- structural, but not lexical semantics.

Want to look at deeper linguistic processing with HPSG --- in particular WordNet.

Multiple possible resources for lexical semantics: Goi Taikei, Wikipedia, ... but WordNet is probably easiest.

If we knew what words meant lexically (dog is an animal, translation is a process, Suquamish is a place) then we could generalize some of the knowledge that we have, and condition on semantic classes. Improvements in

Proposal: make senses types, use a hierarchy

Other ideas:

Resources: Free, freeish, and not free WNs for many WNs (see slides), and WN-sense tagged corpora.

When: Francis is optimistic that he will have laid the groundwork to get into this within the next year or so.


Laurie: It seems like dealing with nouns that WN is easier than dealing with verbs. Do you see any issues or problems when you work with verbs instead of nouns.

Francis: Has mostly worked with nouns. WN hierachy is much flatter with verbs than nouns. Expectation is that as a side-effect will come up with verbs with WN senses, plus sub-cat from grammars, plus selectional restrictions in terms of these senses. (Similar to FrameNet.) Semantic preferences can probably be done fairly programmatically once we have the integration of the senses.

João: What about other relations in WN (other than subsumption).

Francis: Right. The big one is meronymy. Would need to explicitly model as extra predicates somewhere in the space so that it's part of the bg knowledge that the grammar has.

Emily: Does that go in the MRS?

Francis: Yes, but exactly how, we don't have that yet.

Valia: Have you done experiments to show that integration of WordNet is worth the slow-down in the parser, etc?

Francis: Have done experiments with Goi Taikei. Implementation was entirely off-line, so we couldn't measure efficiency. Egirre has shown that WN helped for English, with a different grammar. If you believe that in the long term accuracy is more important than speed, then certainly worth it.

Valia: WordNet is messy. (Implications for what accuracy improvements we can hope for.)

Francis: WN is far from perfect, just like our grammars. Part of my expectation is that we would have to improve WN.

Valia: What about supporting WN with VerbNet and others, for fallback strategies? (And set things up so each resource can be toggled on or off to try different experimental settings.)

Francis: Yes, VerbNet FrameNet from the start would be useful. Hope would be that we would enhance not just our grammars but also WordNet, to the level of what's in FrameNet.

Prescott: Would you be able to express constraints that would have an impact across sentences (through coref chains)? (Ex with dog linked to further NP that then meows.)

Francis: Selection restrictions are better thought of as part of a ranking model rather than hard constraints. Intersentential constraints, haven't thought about very much yet. But selectional restrictions can be very useful for coref resolution, at least for Japanese. Would expect it to help.

Tim: WSD is not a solved task. If we add in WN into ERG, it's going to become slower and more inaccurate. Are we not going to evaluate at the sense level? And if we're not going to evaluate, then why are we doing it? To date, if we push anything into the syntax, it's been motivated by the syntax-semantics interface. Better to still clump senses that are morphosyntactically undistinguishable? But doing it so that it can be fed into the parse selection model, but still underspecified. Never have to syntactically disambiguate senses that don't have any syntactic distinction.

Stephan: Foundational questions. What is our understanding of the parsing task? What is our understanding of being syntactic? Francis's proposal for `how' runs against our approach so far. Parsing is syntactic ambiguation, and syntactic is anything that is grammaticalized (impacting grammaticality). Lexical semantics mostly doesn't meet this criterion (exceptions like count/mass paralleling sense distinctions). Now suggesting that there are parallels: both disambiguation. Might want to do joint learning, but that doesn't mean word-sense ambiguation would be in the grammar.

Woodley: Clarify what `same syntactic distribution' means?

Dan/Emily: Driver example. `Distribution' is hard distribution, not soft distribution.

Laurie: How do we decide what's syntactic? Ex: He ate his sandwich tomorrow is that a syntactic problem (*) or a pragmatic one (#)? How have you been drawing the line?

Dan: I fear that that is a fundamental problem. I know no good answer for that. It is easy to find sharp cases where 100 native speakers would agree. But the blurring to pragmatic constraints is really tough for non-linguists. The teacup asked for some sugar might be rejected, even if it could occur in Beauty and the Beast. If you can push it to a context where it makes sense, then that's not grammar, that's the rest of the world.

Woodley: That's a question of your creativity. No such things as 100 linguists?

Dan: There are sentences where even I can get 100 linguists to agree. Cat the chased dog the.

Woodley: 100/100 linguists will agree it's grammatical, without the context presented?

Dan: No, wouldn't expect that much consistency without providing the context.

Woodley: 100 linguists = 100 times more creativity...

Francis: The question is whether The teacup wants the sugar would entail that the teacup is animate (in our analysis). I'd like to bring this into the grammar, but would be prepared to do it as not-the-grammar if others don't agree. Not 100% convinced that putting everything into the type hierarchy also used for parsing is the right solution, but want a big-G grammar that includes these notions.

Glenn: There is already stochastic parse selection that could be made easier by ruling out analyses based on lexical semantic information.

Emily: Don't want to say WS information makes the parse impossible, but want to put it there so that parse selection mechanism can learn over it.

Tim: Yes, make it so we can feed it into parse selection model.

Stephan: DeepThought deliverable (Sem-I) which connects to that same story. Claim is that _dog_n_rel is a perfectly packed representation of that equivalence class, but what remains to be done is to relate that atomic predicate at the semantics interface to WN, domain-specific ontologies. Would be concerned to say we only commit to WN as something to support. Need to worry about modularity, another benefit of the current design. It's all there, you (Francis) should provide mapping to WN sense, plus training data. Seems like a lot to ask treebankers to disambiguate parses and word senses. I understand that you're frustrated that telling that story we never get to it.

Francis: I understand that you strongly believe it --- but I've never been convinced. But I'm open to a model we'll all believe in.

Woodley: Most of the time in parsing is the exhaustive forest construction, so adding even more ambiguity (packed or otherwise). People are experimenting with beam searches and trying to limit that step, thinking about statistics about animacy seems premature there. [? might have gotten that down wrong -EB]

Stephan: Same story about joint parse and word-sense selection I could tell about pruning, too.

Emily: What's the mechanism though, if not by the grammar?

Stephan: We have a design but haven't ever implemented it (Sem-I). But also the problem that parsing is made practical by restricting the semantics, so that info isn't available during parsing.

Rebecca: Reranking on exhaustive forest (or top-N) with information added. Not as clean as doing it jointly, but can be done within in a year.

Francis: Were doing WSD first, and then using that do to parse reranking. Weren't getting benefit of the parse for WSD.

Rebecca: Could ...

Francis: To be continued in OntoNotes discussion.

Laurie: [Channeling Hans] For these grammars to be useful in applications, one of the great things is that we have the semantics, but when we restrict the semantics to only contain things that are syntactically relevant, then less valuable. Could be useful for temporal work, which is really relevant in medical field. Temporal issues are the focus of this discussion, but it's still the same issue. Have to have some way to end up with a semantic package that actually has the semantics in it.

Francis: [Shorter Laurie] There are many applications for which lexical semantics would be useful.

Dan: There is definitely a user base for this. What we haven't identified in the past 10 years is a provider base. If we want it, but aren't going to produce it ourselves, find some way to out source it.

Francis: I am committing to producing it, but might not do it in the best possible way.

Francis: I want to hear Dan's point of view.

Dan: I think that it is very likely that info about lexical semantics would sharply reduce the noise in the current parsing process. I believe that having lexical semantic information would greatly improve the robustness of the generator. For both ways I see the grammars being used, that info would be immediately and selfishly useful. The problem is that I'm also convinced that unification is the wrong thing to use for this. Unless we go for coercion rules. Every domain imposes constraints on its entities, but each domain has its own base types. From meeting scheduling to hotel reservations some of the predicates shifted. Some of the object types shifted (sorts couldn't be what they were). Transfer group went about relaxing constraints. It's clear that grammatical constructions is the wrong place for semantic constraints, which aren't hard constraints the way we pretend that syntactic ones are.

We have to put them somewhere. The unifier is a black and white object, and is not stochastic. Can't put them anywhere the unifier will get to them. It must be able to succeed somehow --- open type hierarchy, unlike the closed one we have now.

There is a way we could coerce our unification machinery into working on semantic types by automatically generating the `bottoms' of everything. Won't get any filtering, but will get information that can be presented for disambiguation. Can be heavy-handed way to do it.

Never get beyond that step, never get to do anything where I can experiment.

Two main problems:

  1. Tool of unification is the wrong tool for this kind of semantics. At least problematic. (Woodley clarifies: to put constraints on those in grammar.)
  2. Really really want something to experiment with. A tool, that stands off from the unification itself, which would enrich that parse with whatever information could be extracted.

Emily: If you only put in one constraint (e.g., the nouns on their own ARG0 or PRED) then the unifier doesn't care because it would never be contradicted. What I heard Francis saying was that the nouns put the information in, but nothing else does. Can learn the selectional restrictions later.

Francis: That's what I wish I meant. As a cheap way of experimenting to make the information easily available from the grammar.

Montse: Tried putting selectional restrictions in the SRG, but had to take it out. Good to have a separate feature (like Francis's on CONCEPT on relations).

Francis: Can help the parse selection model, but you pay more in treebanking.

Stephan: Given the current machinery, couldn't in fact make the distinctions since all 7 dogs are the same lexical type.

Emily: That is a natural way to separate the two tasks.

Antske: If it's only in the nouns, how does the parse selection model take advantage? [? Not sure I got this right]

Francis: [... missed this one ...]

Stephan: Two possible experimentation platforms emerging:

  1. Script that takes WN-ERG mapping and adds lots of lexical entries.
  2. Or someone would write transfer rules that post-process MRS and unfolds _dog_n_rel into the 7 distinct predicates.

With either could arrive at sets of MRSs that you could use to look at WSD ambiguation.

Francis: Couldn't get the 2nd approach to work, and the 30 min loading time for option 1 was barrier.

Yi: Let's talk later about efficiency.

Francis: I agree that there are cheap ways of doing this, but they require tweaking to get off the ground.

Dan: This has sharpened up one stepping stone: That it is possible to take info from e.g., WN and decorate the characteristic variable, and it would be inert (not changing grammaticality) if nothing else constrained that feature on the other position that variable shows up in. Still not convinced that it helps to ambiguate at the head of the pipeline is anything other than making more work. Creating 64 entries for driver just doesn't seem like a road to happiness. The observation that it would pack quickly doesn't mean it would pack quickly enough.

Yi: We pack because there isn't enough interaction between the syntactic and semantic part of the feature structures. So packing might help. But on the other hand, maybe we don't need to do the unifications then.

Francis: We have to ambiguate just before we need the information. If using it for pruning, it has to be there up-front. Could be done just before unpacking if we were doing it then. Happy to put it as late as is practical.

Stephan: Also the distinction to remember between disjunction and underspecification. Seven copies of dog_n1 seems stone-age. Sem-I entry is the underspecification, if WN is the target, ... I'd like the flexibility to change the lex semantic target based on application.

Woodley: It could be quite helpful to have WN hierarchy avaialble in writing transfer rules. What would that interaction be like? Would it have to be in both hierarchies, or add just before transfer?

Stephan: The story is: The Sem-I (inventory of semantic predicates) is what should be connected to such a hierarchy (WN etc). Not part of the type hierarchy of the grammar, but a separate hierarchy. Once you had that, the design is that that hierarchy is part of the transfer grammar/available in the transfer rules. Came close to building that LOGON project, but ran out of time.

Francis: If you don't believe that it would be useful in parse ranking, makes sense to do it after parsing. If you believe that real world knowledge/lex semantics is useful in parse ranking, need to do it earlier.

Stephan: If you postpone `parse ranking' (syntactic + WS disambiguation), until after the lex sem ambiguating transfer grammar has applied, then this model can do what you want without making seven copies of the syntactic properties associated with _dog_n_rel.

Antske: How useful is it to put features like that in the parse ranking? Seems complex and expensive. Needs lots of data and slow.

Francis: We did it all off line and it was slow. But people are working on efficient methods.

Stephan; Should not be insurmountable, but the benefits weren't dramatic.

Francis: But we didn't do all the experiments because it was slow.

SuquamishMRSWordNet (last edited 2012-07-24 12:07:59 by LilingTan)

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