The Challenge of Composition in Distributional and Formal Semantics

This is tutorial proposal. Abstract is as follows: The principle of compositionality states that the meaning of a complete sentence must be explained in terms of the meanings of its subsentential parts; in other words, each syntactic operation should have a corresponding semantic operation. In recent years, it has been increasingly evident that distributional and formal semantics are complementary in addressing composition; while the distributional/vector-based approach can naturally measure semantic similarity (Mitchell and Lapata, 2010), the formal/symbolic approach has a long tradition within logic-based semantic frameworks (Montague, 1974) and can readily be connected to theorem provers or databases to perform complicated tasks. In this tutorial, we will cover recent efforts in extending word vectors to account for composition and reasoning, the various challenging phenomena observed in composition and addressed by formal semantics, and a hybrid approach that combines merits of the two. Outline and introduction to instructors are found in the submission. Ran Tian has taught a tutorial at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Natural Language Processing in Japan, 2015. The estimated audience size was about one hundred. Only a limited part of the contents in this tutorial is drawn from the previous one. Koji Mineshima has taught a one-week course at the 28th European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information (ESSLLI2016), together with Prof. Daisuke Bekki. Only a few contents are the same with this tutorial. Tutorials on {``}CCG Semantic Parsing{''} have been given in ACL2013, EMNLP2014, and AAAI2015. A coming tutorial on {``}Deep Learning for Semantic Composition{''} will be given in ACL2017. Contents in these tutorials are somehow related to but not overlapping with our proposal.

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