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A Simple Introduction to Word Embeddings

In information retrieval there is a long history of learning vector representations for words. In recent times, neural word embeddings have gained significant popularity for many natural language processing tasks, such as word analogy and machine translation. The goal of this talk is to introduce basic intuitions behind these simple but elegant models of text representation. We will start our discussion with classic vector space models and then make our way to recently proposed neural word embeddings. We will see how these models can be useful for analogical reasoning as well applied to many information retrieval tasks.

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Bhaskar Mitra, Microsoft (Bing Sciences)
Check out the full tutorial:
https://arxiv.org/abs/1705.01509
The value of science is not to
make things complex, but to
find the inherent simplicity.
- Frank Seide
Vector Space Models
Represent an item (e.g., word) as a vector of numbers.
0 1 0 1 0 0 2 0 1 0 1 0banana
Vector Space Models
Represent an item (e.g., word) as a vector of numbers.
The vector can correspond to documents in which the word occurs.
0 1 0 1 0 0 2 0 1 0 1 0banana
Doc7 Doc9Doc2 Doc4 Doc11
Vector Space Models
Represent an item (e.g., word) as a vector of numbers.
The vector can correspond to neighboring word context.
e.g., “yellow banana grows on trees in africa”
0 1 0 1 0 0 2 0 1 0 1 0banana
(grows, +1) (tree, +3)(yellow, -1) (on, +2) (africa, +5)
+1 +3-1 +2 +50 +4

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A Simple Introduction to Word Embeddings

  • 1. Bhaskar Mitra, Microsoft (Bing Sciences)
  • 2. Check out the full tutorial: https://arxiv.org/abs/1705.01509
  • 3. The value of science is not to make things complex, but to find the inherent simplicity. - Frank Seide
  • 4. Vector Space Models Represent an item (e.g., word) as a vector of numbers. 0 1 0 1 0 0 2 0 1 0 1 0banana
  • 5. Vector Space Models Represent an item (e.g., word) as a vector of numbers. The vector can correspond to documents in which the word occurs. 0 1 0 1 0 0 2 0 1 0 1 0banana Doc7 Doc9Doc2 Doc4 Doc11
  • 6. Vector Space Models Represent an item (e.g., word) as a vector of numbers. The vector can correspond to neighboring word context. e.g., “yellow banana grows on trees in africa” 0 1 0 1 0 0 2 0 1 0 1 0banana (grows, +1) (tree, +3)(yellow, -1) (on, +2) (africa, +5) +1 +3-1 +2 +50 +4
  • 7. Vector Space Models Represent an item (e.g., word) as a vector of numbers. The vector can correspond to character trigrams in the word. 0 1 0 1 0 0 2 0 1 0 1 0banana ana nan#ba na# ban
  • 8. Notions of Relatedness Comparing two vectors (e.g., using cosine similarity) estimates how similar the two words are. However, the notion of relatedness depends on what vector representation you have chosen for the words. or seattle similar to denver? Because they are both cities. seattle similar to seahawks? Because “Seattle Seahawks”. (Go Seahawks!) Important note: In previous slides I showed raw counts. They should either be normalized (e.g., using pointwise-mutual information) or (matrix) factorized. More on
  • 9. Let’s consider the following example… We have four (tiny) documents, Document 1 : “seattle seahawks jerseys” Document 2 : “seattle seahawks highlights” Document 3 : “denver broncos jerseys” Document 4 : “denver broncos highlights”
  • 10. If we use document occurrence vectors… 1 1 0 0seattle Document 1 Document 3 Document 2 Document 4 1 1 0 0seahawks 0 0 1 1denver 0 0 1 1broncos similar similar In the rest of this talk, we refer to this notion of relatedness as Topical similarity.
  • 11. If we use word context vectors… 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 1seattle (seattle, -1) (denver, -1) (seahawks, +1) (broncos, +1) (jerseys, + 1) (jerseys, + 2) (highlights, +1) (highlights, +2) 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 0seahawks 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 1denver 0 0 2 0 1 0 1 0broncos similar similar In the rest of this talk, we refer to this notion of relatedness as Typical (by-type)
  • 12. If we use character trigram vectors… This notion of relatedness is similar to string edit-distance. 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 1seattle #se set sea eat ett att ttl tle 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1settle 1 1 le# similar
  • 13. DIY: Learning Word Types Take a sentence or query corpus and extract Word-Context pairs, where Context is the <neighbouring word, distance> tuple. Compute (Positive) Pointwise Mutual Information for every Word-Context pair. Compute the cosine similarity between the context score vectors to estimate word similarity by type.
  • 14. Word Analogy Task man is to woman as king is to ? good is to best as smart is to ? china is to beijing as russia is to ? Turns out the word-context based vector model we just learnt is good for such analogy tasks, [king] – [man] + [woman] ≈ [queen] Levy, Goldberg, and Israel, Linguistic Regularities in Sparse and Explicit Word Representations, CoNLL. 2014.
  • 15. Embeddings The vectors we have been discussing so far are very high- dimensional (thousands, or even millions) and sparse. But there are techniques to learn lower-dimensional dense vectors for words using the same intuitions. These dense vectors are called embeddings.
  • 16. Learning Dense Embeddings Matrix Factorization Factorize word-context matrix. E.g., LDA (Word-Document), GloVe (Word-NeighboringWord) Neural Networks A neural network with a bottleneck, word and context as input and output respectively. E.g., Word2vec (Word-NeighboringWord) Context1 Context1 …. Context k Word1 Word2 ⁞ Wordn Deerwester, Dumais, Landauer, Furnas, and Harshman, Indexing by latent semantic analysis, JASIS, 1990. Pennington, Socher, and Manning, GloVe: Global Vectors for Word Representation, EMNLP, 2014. Mikolov, Sutskever, Chen, Corrado, and Dean, Distributed representations of words and phrases and their compositionality, NIPS, 2013.
  • 17. Exercise Both Word2vec and GloVe define context as the neighboring word only, without considering the distance from the current word. How does this change the relationship that is learnt by the embedding space?
  • 18. How do word analogies work? Visually, the vector {china → beijing} turns out to be almost parallel to the vector {russia → moscow}. But if you aren’t queasy about reading a lot of equations, read the following paper… Arora, et al. RAND-WALK: A Latent Variable Model Approach to Word Embeddings, 2015. Mikolov, Sutskever, Chen, Corrado, and Dean, Distributed representations of words and phrases and their compositionality, NIPS, 2013.
  • 19. Word embeddings for Document Ranking Traditional IR uses Term matching, → # of times the doc says Albuquerque We can use word embeddings to compare all-pairs of query-document terms, → # of terms in the doc that relate to Albuquerque Passage about Albuquerque Passage not about Albuquerque Nalisnick, Mitra, Craswell, and Caruana, Improving Document Ranking with Dual Word Embeddings, in WWW, 2016. Mitra, Nalisnick, Craswell, and Caruana, A Dual Embedding Space Model for Document Ranking, arXiv:1602.01137, 2016
  • 20. Beyond words… Deep Semantic Similarity Model (DSSM) trains on multi-word short-text. Like with word embeddings, you can train them to capture either Typical or Topical relationships. Huang, Po-Sen, et al., Learning deep structured semantic models for web search using clickthrough data, CIKM, 2013. Mitra and Craswell, Query Auto-Completion for Rare Prefixes, in CIKM, 2015.
  • 21. What’s next? Train your own or use a pre-trained embedding Word2vec Word2vec trained on queries GloVe DSSM Get your hands dirty and try to build some fun demos!
  • 22. Remember these are exciting times… Fang et. al., From Captions to Visual Concepts and Back, CVPR, 2015. Vinyals et. al., A Neural Conversational Model, ICML, 2015.
  • 23. Thank you for listening!
  • 24. Neu-IR 2016 The SIGIR 2016 Workshop on Neural Information Retrieval July 21st, 2016 Pisa, Tuscany, Italy http://research.microsoft.com/neuir2016 https://twitter.com/neuir2016 (Call for Participation) W. Bruce Croft University of Massachusetts Amherst, US Jiafeng Guo Chinese Academy of Sciences Beijing, China Maarten de Rijke University of Amsterdam Amsterdam, The Netherlands Bhaskar Mitra Bing, Microsoft Cambridge, UK Nick Craswell Bing, Microsoft Bellevue, US Organizers