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Collocations and Terminology

Vasileios Hatzivassiloglou University of Texas at Dallas

Frank Smadja, Retrieving Collocations from Text, Computational Linguistics, 1993 Recurrent combinations of words that cooccur more often than chance, often with non-compositional meaning Technical and non-technical

Examples of collocations
The Dow Jones average of industrials The Dow average The Dow industrials *The Jones industrials The Dow Jones industrial *The industrial Dow *The Dow industrial

Collocation properties
Arbitrary (dialect dependent)
ride a bike, set the table

Domain dependent
dry suit, wet suit

Recurrent Cohesive
Part of a collocation primes for the rest

Lexicography Grammatical restrictions (compare with/to but associate with) Generation Translation

Types of collocations
Predicative relations
make a decision, hostile takeover flexible (syntactic variability, intervening words)

Rigid word groups

over the counter market

Phrases with open slots

fluency in a domain

Issues in finding collocations

Possibly more than two words
Need measure that extends beyond the binary case

Possibly intervening words Possibly morphological and syntactic variation Semantic constraints (cf. doctors-dentists and doctors-hospitals)

Xtract stage one

For a given word, find all collocates at positions -5 to +5 Three criteria:
strength (normalized frequency); 95% rejection vs. expected 68% under normal distribution position histogram must not be flat select peak from histogram

Xtract stage two

Start from word pairs Look at each position in between, to the left, and to the right Keep words that appear very often If that fails, keep parts of speech that satisfy this criterion

Xtract stage three

Applied to pairs of words Requires (partial) parsing Examines the syntactic relationship between words and keeps those pairs with consistent relationships (e.g., verb-object)

Ask lexicographer to evaluate output 40% precision after stages one and two 80% precision after stage three 94% conditional recall

Batrice Daille, Study and Implementation of Combined Techniques for Automatic Extraction of Terminology, ACL Balancing Act workshop, 1994

Terms refer to concepts Terms key for populating a domain ontology Terms are typically nominal compounds of certain structure, e.g., NN, N of N

Defining terms
Unique reference Unique translation Term extension by
modification (e.g., addition of an adjective) substitution extension of structure coordination

Apply syntactic constraints to match pairs of words in a candidate term Filter by application of an association measure Measures examined: pointwise mutual information, 2 (chi-square), log-likelihood ratio

Compare with reference list Frequency a strong predictor Log-likelihood ratio works best Additional criteria:
diversity of the distribution of each word distance between the two words (determines flexibility but not term status)

Justeson and Katz

Justeson and Katz, Technical Terminology: Some Linguistic Properties and an Algorithm for Identification in Text, Natural Language Engineering, 1995.

Examined association measures Well-known problems:
eliminating general-language constructs (e.g., collocations) what to do with single word terms?

Frequency works well But a stronger predictor is P(k>1) compared to P(k1) in the same document Use syntactic patterns to propose terms, then check if they reappear in the same document Require this across multiple documents

Term Expansion
Jacquemin, Klavans, and Tzoukermann, Expansion of Multi-Word Terms for Indexing and Retrieval Using Morphology and Syntax, ACL 1997. Need to expand a given list of terms, especially for scientific domains

Term variation
Syntactic (same words, different structure) Morphosyntactic (derivational forms of words) Semantic (synonyms are used) In IR, normalization through stemming and removal of stop words

Process corpus matching new candidate terms to old ones via unification Matching based on
inflectional morphology (transducer) derivational morphology (rule-based) syntactic transformations additions of words

Manual inspection of several thousand proposed terms Precision of 89% Effectiveness in indexing increases by a factor of three when using the variants (P/R from 99.7/72 to 97/93)