Texts in, meaning out: neural language models in semantic similarity task for Russian
Distributed vector representations for natural language vocabulary get a lot of attention in contemporary computational linguistics. This paper summarizes the experience of applying neural network language models to the task of calculating semantic similarity for Russian. The experiments were performed in the course of Russian Semantic Similarity Evaluation track, where our models took from 2nd to 5th position, depending on the task. We introduce the tools and corpora used, comment on the nature of the evaluation track and describe the achieved results. It was found out that Continuous Skip-gram and Continuous Bag-of-words models, previously successfully applied to English material, can be used for semantic modeling of Russian as well. Moreover, we show that texts in Russian National Corpus (RNC) provide an excellent training material for such models, outperforming other, much larger corpora. It is especially true for semantic relatedness tasks (although stacking models trained on larger corpora on top of RNC models improves performance even more). High-quality semantic vectors learned in such a way can be used in a variety of linguistic tasks and promise an exciting field for further study.