A Linear Dynamical System Model for Text

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David Belanger, Sham Kakade ;
Proceedings of the 32nd International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 37:833-842, 2015.

Abstract

Low dimensional representations of words allow accurate NLP models to be trained on limited annotated data. While most representations ignore words’ local context, a natural way to induce context-dependent representations is to perform inference in a probabilistic latent-variable sequence model. Given the recent success of continuous vector space word representations, we provide such an inference procedure for continuous states, where words’ representations are given by the posterior mean of a linear dynamical system. Here, efficient inference can be performed using Kalman filtering. Our learning algorithm is extremely scalable, operating on simple co-occurrence counts for both parameter initialization using the method of moments and subsequent iterations of EM. In our experiments, we employ our inferred word embeddings as features in standard tagging tasks, obtaining significant accuracy improvements. Finally, the Kalman filter updates can be seen as a linear recurrent neural network. We demonstrate that using the parameters of our model to initialize a non-linear recurrent neural network language model reduces its training time by a day and yields lower perplexity.

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