Paper: It’s a Contradiction – no it’s not: A Case Study using Functional Relations

ACL ID D08-1002
Title It’s a Contradiction – no it’s not: A Case Study using Functional Relations
Venue Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing
Session Main Conference
Year 2008
Authors

Contradiction Detection (CD) in text is a difficult NLP task. We investigate CD over functions (e.g., BornIn(Person)=Place), and present a domain-independent algorithm that automatically discovers phrases denoting functions with high precision. Previous work on CD has investigated hand-chosen sentence pairs. In contrast, we automatically harvested from the Web pairs of sentences that appear contradictory, but were surprised to find that most pairs are in fact consistent. For example, “Mozart was born in Salzburg” does not con- tradict “Mozart was born in Austria” despite the functional nature of the phrase “was born in”. We show that background knowledge about meronyms (e.g., Salzburg is in Austria), synonyms, functions, and more is essential for success in the CD task.