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Multi-Modal Models for Concrete and Abstract Concept Meaning


Multi-modal models that learn semantic representations from both linguistic and perceptual input outperform language-only models on a range of evaluations, and better reflect human concept acquisition. Most perceptual input to such models corresponds to concrete noun concepts and the superiority of the multi-modal approach has only been established when evaluating on such concepts. We therefore investigate which concepts can be effectively learned by multi-modal models. We show that concreteness determines both which linguistic features are most informative and the impact of perceptual input in such models. We then introduce ridge regression as a means of propagating perceptual information from concrete nouns to more abstract concepts that is more robust than previous approaches. Finally, we present weighted gram matrix combination, a means of combining representations from distinct modalities that outperforms alternatives when both modalities are sufficiently rich. 

PDF (Presented at EMNLP 2014)

Author Biography

Felix Hill

PhD Student

NLIP Group

Computer Laboratory

Cambridge University