Supervised All-Words Lexical Substitution using Delexicalized Features

György Szarvas, Chris Biemann and Iryna Gurevych

We propose a supervised lexical substitution system that does not use separate classifiers per word and is therefore applicable to any word in the vocabulary. Instead of learning word-specific substitution patterns, a global model for lexical substitution is trained on delexicalized (i.e., non lexical) features, which allows to exploit the power of supervised methods while being able to generalize beyond target words in the training set. This way, our approach remains technically straightforward, provides better performance and similar coverage in comparison to unsupervised approaches. Using features from lexical resources, as well as a variety of features computed from large corpora (n-gram counts, distributional similarity) and a ranking method based on the posterior probabilities obtained from a Maximum Entropy classifier, we improve over the state of the art in the LexSub Best-Precision metric and the Generalized Average Precision measure. Robustness of our approach is demonstrated by evaluating it successfully on two different datasets.

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