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Authors: Hätty, Anna
Title: Automatic term extraction for conventional and extended term definitions across domains
Issue Date: 2020 Dissertation xvi, 204
Abstract: A terminology is the entirety of concepts which constitute the vocabulary of a domain or subject field. Automatically identifying various linguistic forms of terms in domain-specific corpora is an important basis for further natural language processing tasks, such as ontology creation or, in general, domain knowledge acquisition. As a short overview for terms and domains, expressions like 'hammer', 'jigsaw', 'cordless screwdriver' or 'to drill' can be considered as terms in the domain of DIY (’do-it-yourself’); 'beaten egg whites' or 'electric blender' as terms in the domain of cooking. These examples cover different linguistic forms: simple terms like 'hammer' and complex terms like 'beaten egg whites', which consist of several simple words. However, although these words might seem to be obvious examples of terms, in many cases the decision to distinguish a term from a ‘non-term’ is not straightforward. There is no common, established way to define terms, but there are multiple terminology theories and diverse approaches to conduct human annotation studies. In addition, terms can be perceived to be more or less terminological, and the hard distinction between term and ‘non-term’ can be unsatisfying. Beyond term definition, when it comes to the automatic extraction of terms, there are further challenges, considering that complex terms as well as simple terms need to be automatically identified by an extraction system. The extraction of complex terms can profit from exploiting information about their constituents because complex terms might be infrequent as a whole. Simple terms might be more frequent, but they are especially prone to ambiguity. If a system considers an assumed term occurrence in text, which actually carries a different meaning, this can lead to wrong term extraction results. Thus, term complexity and ambiguity are major challenges for automatic term extraction. The present work describes novel theoretical and computational models for the considered aspects. It can be grouped into three broad categories: term definition studies, conventional automatic term extraction models, and extended automatic term extraction models that are based on fine-grained term frameworks. Term complexity and ambiguity are special foci here. In this thesis, we report on insights and improvements on these theoretical and computational models for terminology: We find that terms are concepts that can intuitively be derstood by lay people. We test more fine-grained term characterization frameworks that go beyond the conventional term/‘non-term’-distinction. We are the first to describe and model term ambiguity as gradual meaning variation between general and domain-specific language, and use the resulting representations to prevent errors typically made by term extraction systems resulting from ambiguity. We develop computational models that exploit the influence of term constituents on the prediction of complex terms. We especially tackle German closed compound terms, which are a frequent complex term type in German. Finally, we find that we can use similar strategies for modeling term complexity and ambiguity computationally for conventional and extended term extraction.
Appears in Collections:05 Fakultät Informatik, Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik

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