Structural Regularities in Text-based Entity Vector Spaces

Entity retrieval is the task of finding entities such as people or products in response to a query, based solely on the textual documents they are associated with. Recent semantic entity retrieval algorithms represent queries and experts in finite-dimensional vector spaces, where both are constructed from text sequences. We investigate entity vector spaces and the degree to which they capture structural regularities. Such vector spaces are constructed in an unsupervised manner without explicit information about structural aspects. For concreteness, we address these questions for a specific type of entity: experts in the context of expert finding. We discover how clusterings of experts correspond to committees in organizations, the ability of expert representations to encode the co-author graph, and the degree to which they encode academic rank. We compare latent, continuous representations created using methods based on distributional semantics (LSI), topic models (LDA) and neural networks (word2vec, doc2vec, SERT). Vector spaces created using neural methods, such as doc2vec and SERT, systematically perform better at clustering than LSI, LDA and word2vec. When it comes to encoding entity relations, SERT performs best.

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