Paper: Explaining Similarity of Terms

ACL ID C08-2033
Title Explaining Similarity of Terms
Venue International Conference on Computational Linguistics
Session Poster Session
Year 2008

Computing the similarity between entities is a core component of many NLP tasks such as measuring the semantic similarity of terms for generating a distributional the- saurus. In this paper, we study the problem of explaining post-hoc why a set of terms are similar. Given a set of terms, our task is to generate a small set of explanations that best characterizes the similarity of those terms. Our contributions include: 1) an information-theoretic objective function for quantifying the utility of an explana- tion set; 2) a survey of psycholinguistics and philosophy for evidence of different sources of explanations such as descriptive properties and prototypes; 3) computa- tional baseline models for automatically generating various types of explanations; and 4) a qualitative evaluation of ou...