Inducing Crosslingual Distributed Representations of Words

Dr. Alexandre Klementiev
Germany, Amazon
Distributed representations of words have proven extremely useful in numerous natural language processing tasks. Their appeal is that they can help alleviate data sparsity problems common to supervised learning. Methods for inducing these representations require only unlabeled language data, which are plentiful for many natural languages. In this work, we induce distributed representations for a pair of languages jointly. We treat it as a multitask learning problem where each task corresponds
to a single word, and task relatedness is derived from co-occurrence statistics in bilingual parallel data. These representations can be used for a number of crosslingual learning tasks, where a learner can be trained on annotations present in one language and applied to test data in another. We show that our representations are informative by using them for crosslingual document classification, where classifiers trained on these representations substantially outperform strong baselines (e.g. machine translation) when applied to a new language.